Pes­ti­cides killing off the bees’ buzz

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

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.

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