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
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned in South Africa? » [2653 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [538 Views]
- Video: Watch what happens when you give a squirrel a GoPro » [505 Views]
- Video: Killer Whales Attack Pod of Narwhal » [500 Views]
- Video: Rare Black Sea Devil Caught on Film for the First Time » [451 Views]
- Video: Incredible footage shows leopard attacking two male antelope while they fight » [450 Views]
- Grey seals identified as killers behind mystery harbour porpoise deaths » [419 Views]
- Video: Watch the Incredible Migration of Thousands of Giant Spider Crabs in Australia » [386 Views]
- New Pictures of Hollywood Cougar Show Sleeker, Healthier Cat » [374 Views]
- Listen to New Bird Species Discovered in Brazil: Cryptic Treehunter » [369 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- » POLL: Should the ban on fox hunting be relaxed in the UK? [10958 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7969 Views]
- POLL: Should the fox-hunting laws in the UK be relaxed? » [7406 Views]
- POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [5657 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [4898 Views]
- Komodo and its Dragons » [4698 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [4006 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of giraffes be banned? » [3187 Views]
- POLL: Should the wolf hunting contest in Idaho be stopped? » [3181 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [2925 Views]