Some of the world’s most commonly used pesticides are killing bees by damaging their ability to navigate and reducing numbers of queens, research suggests.
Scientific groups in the UK and France studied the effects of neonicotinoids, which are used in more than 100 nations on farm crops and in gardens.
The UK team found the pesticides caused an 85% drop in queen production.
Writing in the journal Science, the groups note that bee declines in many countries are reducing crop yields.
In the UK alone, pollination is calculated to be worth about £430m to the national economy. And the US is among countries where a succession of local populations has crashed, a syndrome known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
Many causes have been suggested, including diseases, parasites, reduction in the range of flowers growing wild in the countryside, pesticides, or a combination of them all. The neonicotinoids investigated in the two Science papers are used on crops such as cereals, oilseed rape and sunflowers.
Often the chemical is applied to seeds before planting. As the plant grows, the pesticide is contained in every part of it, deterring insect pests such as aphids. But it also enters the pollen and nectar, which is how it can affect bees.
Dave Goulson from the UK’s University of Stirling and colleagues studied the impact of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid on bumblebees. They let bees from some colonies feed on pollen and sugar water containing levels of imidacloprid typically found in the wild, while others received a natural diet. Then they placed the colonies out in the field.
Read full article, which was written by Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News
Share on social media:
You may also like:
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should buzzards be killed to protect pheasants? [1552 Views]
- POLL: Should Norway’s plan to cull its wolves be abandoned? [1263 Views]
- POLL: Should Namibia’s cape fur seal trade be banned? [910 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [842 Views]
- POLL: Should moose be added to the endangered species list? [809 Views]
- New Zealand kea, the world’s only alpine parrot, faces extinction [655 Views]
- Africa may have new giraffe species [640 Views]
- Video: Great White Shark breaks into diver’s cage [625 Views]
- Humanity driving ‘unprecedented’ marine extinction [621 Views]
- China accused of defying its own ban on breeding tigers to profit from body parts [565 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [41884 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16599 Views]
- POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [14040 Views]
- POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [13401 Views]
- POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11085 Views]
- POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8424 Views]
- POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8280 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [8243 Views]
- POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8012 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7279 Views]