Sunday June 23, 2024

Spying on bees reveals pesticides impair social behaviour

November 10, 2018

TAMPA: A new study that allowed humans to spy on bumblebees inside their nests showed that pesticides can impair social behavior, making it hard for bees to eat and rear their young, researchers said Thursday. Previous research has shown that the common class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids can harm bees´ ability to forage outside the nest. The latest findings add to long-standing concerns about these important pollinators’ health. Researchers tracked the changes in bees´ behavior by placing cameras inside 12 specially made boxes that contained one chamber for a nest and another chamber for foraging. Some bees were exposed to concentrations of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid similar to that expected in the environment. Others were not. They found the pesticide-exposed bees were less social in a variety of ways than control bees placed in similar boxes but not fed nectar that contained neonicotinoids.