Pesticides killing off the bees’ buzz
Bumblebees are forgetting how to buzz because of pesticides, a study suggests.
Researchers at the University of Stirling found that neonicotinoid pesticides interfere with the vibrations of bumblebees as they collected pollen, reducing the amount of pollen collected.
The team looked at “buzz pollination” in which bees use vibrations to create an electrostatic charge that lifts pollen from flowers.
The scientists monitored colonies of bumblebees and collected bee buzzes using microphones.
Dr Mario Vallejo-marin, an associate professor, said: “Our findings have implications for the effects of pesticides on bee populations as well as the pollination services they provide.”
Last week Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, backed a Europe-wide ban on bee-harming pesticides.
The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.