From: York University
Published July 4, 2017 08:01 AM

York study finds exposure to neonics results in early death for honeybee workers and queens

Worker and queen honeybees exposed to field-realistic levels of neonicotinoid insecticides die sooner, reducing the health of the entire colony, a new study led by York University biologists has found.

Researchers were also surprised to find the neonicotinoid-contaminated pollen collected by the honeybees came not from crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated seeds, but plants growing in areas adjacent to those crops.

The role of neonicotinoid insecticides in honeybee colony deaths in Ontario and other parts of North America has been controversial. Some critics dismissed studies that found negative effects on worker behavior and colony health as unrealistic, suggesting bees were exposed to higher doses of pesticides for much longer than realistically found in the field.

“This debate about field-realistic exposure has been going on for a long time,” said York University biology Professor Amro Zayed of the Faculty of Science. “We needed season-long monitoring of neonics in bee colonies to determine the typical exposure scenarios that occur in the field, which we have now done.

 

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Photo via York University.

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