Exposure to neonicotinoid also reduces bees’ ability to communicate about food sources
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — There’s more evidence that even small doses of common pesticides are at least a factor — if not the main cause — of a dramatic decline in bee populations that’s threatening pollination of both wild and domesticated plants.
By closely studying the response of individual bees to the chemical, biologists at the University of California San Diego showed that the bees turn into picky eaters. The study also showed that bees exposed to the pesticide reduced the number of “waggle dances” between fourfold and tenfold, reducing the number of nestmates recruited to good food sources.
Bee colonies in the U.S. and Europe have declined by about one-third since 2006 in what has been called colony collapse disorder. In the last couple of years, research has established strong direct links between the decline and common agricultural pesticides, including several recent European studies showing that colonies exposed to neonicotinoids produce fewer queen bees. (more…)