Pesticides Linked to Honeybee Decline

Study says toxins hurt bee navigation

Bees

Bees     Photo: vagawi/Flickr

A study published on Friday in the journal Science suggests that common low-dose pesticides may be responsible for the rapid decline of bee populations in the United States and Europe. Scientists found that bees consuming pesticides suffered an 85% loss in the number of queens their colony produced and a doubling in the number of bees that failed to return to the nest. It was the first bee-decline study to be conducted in a natural environment. "People had found pretty trivial effects in lab and greenhouse experiments, but we have shown they can translate into really big effects in the field," said Professor David Goulson, one of the lead researchers. Bee pollination is worth as much as $15 billion to the agricultural industry. The number of bees in the U.S. has dropped by around 50 percent in the past 25 years.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

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