First plant STDs, and now this? Bees these days just can’t catch a break: New research shows that bumblebees that have been exposed to neonic pesticides are hopeless when it comes to gathering food.
British scientists reared commercial bumblebees for two weeks on sugar and pollen laced with imidacloprid, which is one of the world’s most commonly used insecticides. The pesticide concentration mimicked that found in farmed oil seed rape, which is grown for biofuel, vegetable oil, and animal feed. Similar colonies were fed pesticide-free sugar and pollen.
After the colonies were released into Scottish gardens to forage for their own food, the scientists monitored how much pollen and nectar the bees gathered and brought back to their hives. When it came to pollen, which is the main part of the bees’ diet, the differences between the pesticide-fed bees and those from control hives was striking. From the paper, published…
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