Study says bee navigation hurt by insecticides

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A research project in Germany testing the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides found that bees’ navigation to their hives was negatively impacted by the insecticides.

The researchers at Freie University Berlin published their study in the online journal PLOS One. According to the researchers, bees use the orientation of the sun for memorizing flight paths to and from feeding sites and the hive.

A report of results in noted that test bees “were administered a small amount of the pesticide in their feed” and bees who had been able to navigate to and from their hive suddenly were unable to complete a direct flight return to their hive 400 meters away. Some became completely lost.

Reactions to the study as of last week had not been issued by other bee specialists around the world, but the first question that will be raised is whether the amount of pesticide fed the bees is comparable to what bees would normally encounter in the environment.

Two neonicotinoid active-ingredient insecticides are banned by the European Commission for two years while further tests are being conducted on the safety of them to pollinators

The article can be found by clicking here, and the technical research published article can be reached on the PLOS One website by clicking here.


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