Quantcast
Mar 302012
 

Pesticides are not the whole problem, but some think they could be a significant one

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:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr

Leave a Comment


Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [10404 Views]
  2. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8290 Views]
  3. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [7862 Views]
  4. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [7533 Views]
  5. POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4423 Views]
  6. POLL: Should the sale of elephant ivory be legalized? [3878 Views]
  7. POLL: Should the coyote continue to be exterminated? [2975 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the use of snares be banned in the UK? [2495 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the killing of animals by Wildlife Services be stopped? [1622 Views]
  10. POLL: Should spear hunting of bears be banned? [1585 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [41807 Views]
  2. POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [15267 Views]
  3. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [12936 Views]
  4. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [10456 Views]
  5. POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland? [9992 Views]
  6. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8290 Views]
  7. POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [7892 Views]
  8. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [7863 Views]
  9. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [7623 Views]
  10. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7122 Views]