Bum­ble­bees lose their buzz thanks to pes­ti­cides

The Scotsman - - Features - By CHRIS GREEN

Com­mon farm­ing pes­ti­cides sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the amount of pollen col­lected by bum­ble­bees and weak­ens their buzzing noise, sci­en­tists have warned.

Ex­po­sure to the pes­ti­cides ap­pears to have a ma­jor im­pact on the be­hav­iour of bees.

The find­ing made by re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Stir­ling comes days af­ter the UK gov­ern­ment called for tougher re­stric­tions on nerve agent pes­ti­cides in a back­flip of its pre­vi­ous stance.

The pes­ti­cides, known as neon­i­coti­noids, have been linked to wide­spread de­clines in bee pop­u­la­tions and are par­tially banned across the Euro­pean Union.

The study sug­gests the pes­ti­cides in­ter­fere with the type of vi­bra­tions bees pro­duce while col­lect­ing pollen grains.

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