According to new research, specific physical characteristics of flowers affect bumblebees’ health by influencing the spread of a dangerous virus called Crithidia bombi. The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, shows that the length of the corolla, or petals, affects how this pathogen is transmitted between bees, because shorter corollas mean less bee excrement in the flower itself. and in the path of bees in search of nectar. The study’s findings are published in the journal Ecology. Scientists have recently sounded the alarm about the “insect apocalypse,” or mass die-off of the world’s insects. By some estimates, insect life in the world has declined by 75 percent in the past 50 years. One of the many ecological implications of this apocalypse is the collapse of pollinator species, some of which scientists estimate have become 90 percent extinct in the US in the past two decades.