Researchers in France and the UK are performing research on pesticides and their effects on bees and the queen bee populations in particular. The researchers have discovered that there is a startling effect on the bees when it comes to the use of a particular pesticide called a neonicotinoid. These pesticides have caused dramatic drops in queen bee populations because of their incredible strength.
Overall, the pesticides have caused an 85% drop in the amount of queen bees where these pesticides are being used. The researchers are also looking into how this effect can be stemmed through the more judicious use of the pesticide.
The use of the pesticides is in the seeds themselves. Therefore, the seed is actually treated before it is planted. That means that it gets into the nectar and the pollen that the plant produces. Because of this, the bees are going to get a hold of the pesticide no matter what they do. This is how the pesticide gets back to the hive and has reduced queen bee populations so much.
Because of the lack of data, it is not possible for the researchers to say definitively that the pesticide is the sole cause of the reduction in bee populations, but they do recognize that the colonies that are near farms are likely bringing in less food and the colonies are getting weaker as a result.
Tests have found that doses used on the seeds do not reduce bee populations, but the researchers hope to change the minds of farmers with this new research coming to light.
BBC.com – Science and Environment
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