New research suggests a good offence is not the best defence when it comes to fending off the destructive mountain pine beetle. (Associated Press)
Research suggests pine trees with strong natural defences are their own worst enemy when it comes to the destructive mountain pine beetle.
Although the sap produced by the lodgepole pine is toxic to the beetles, the smell of the sap can attract large numbers of the tiny bugs that can collectively end up killing a tree.
Prof. Mary Reid, a University of Calgary researcher, says toxic chemicals in the resin within a healthy pine can ward off a few beetles, but not a swarm.