Even bees that never leave the hive can be exposed to insecticides and herbicides that affect their sense of taste and reduce their ability to learn. Tanya Loos reports.
Young worker bees exposed to neonicotinoids and glyphosate suffered an impaired sense of taste and damage to their memories.
Hive-bound young honey bees (Apis mellifera) are being poisoned by insecticide and weed killer gathered by their foraging hive mates, according to new research published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. The chemicals cause brain damage in young worker bees, affecting both their ability to taste and to learn, placing the future of the colony at risk.
Recent research in Europe and the USA has demonstrated that insecticides known as neonicotinoids have a substantial impact on honey bee health. Glyphosate, a commonly used herbicide, has also been shown to have effects on non-target species such as bees. In agricultural landscapes it is expected that honey bees would be exposed to both of these agrochemicals.
* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.