New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that the neonicotinoid class of pesticides do not kill bees but impair their brain function to disturb learning, blunt food gathering skills and harm reproduction
In research report published in the May 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists report that a particular class of pesticides called “neonicotinoids” wreaks havoc on the bee populations, ultimately putting some crops that rely on pollination in jeopardy. Specifically, these pesticides kill bee brain cells, rendering them unable to learn, gather food and reproduce. The report, however, also suggests that the effects of these pesticides on bee colonies may be reversible by decreasing or eliminating the use of these pesticides on plants pollenated by bees and increasing the availability of “bee-friendly” plants available to the insects.
“Our study shows that the neonicotinoid pesticides are a risk to our bees and we should stop using them on plants that bees visit,” said Christopher N. Connolly, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Medical Research Institute at the Ninewells Medical School at the University of Dundee in Dundee, UK. “Neonicotinoids are just a few examples of hundreds of pesticides we use on our crops and in our gardens. Stop using all pesticides in your garden and see insect damage as a success. You are providing for your native wildlife. Nasty caterpillars grow into beautiful butterflies.”
To make their discovery, Connolly and colleagues fed bees a sugar solution with very low neonicotinoid pesticide levels typically found in flowers (2.5 parts per billion) and tracked the toxins to the bee brain. They found that pesticide levels in the bees’ brains were sufficient to cause the learning cells to run out of energy. Additionally, the brain cells were even vulnerable to this effect at just one tenth of the level present. When the ability of the bee’s brain to learn is limited, the bee is unable to master key skills such as recognizing the presence of nectar and pollen from the smell emitted from flowers. In addition, scientists fed bumblebee colonies this same very low level of pesticide in a remote site in the Scottish Highlands where they were unlikely to be exposed to any other pesticides. They found that just a few of the exposed colonies performed well, colonies were smaller, and nests were in poor condition with fungus taking over. This further suggests that bumblebees exposed to this type of pesticide become poor learners, become unable to properly gather food, and become unable to properly nurture the next generation of bees.
“It is ironic that neonicotinoids, pesticides developed to preserve the health of plants, ultimately inflict tremendous damage on plant life,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “These chemicals destroy the insect communities required by plants for their own reproduction.”
The Latest on: Neonicotinoid
via Google News
The Latest on: Neonicotinoid
- U.S. Senators Urge Fish and Wildlife Service To Phase Out Pesticide Use in America’s Wildlife Refugeson August 1, 2022 at 9:01 pm
Members of the United States Senate are calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to phase out the use of toxic pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges in order to protect declining wildlife ...
- Monarch butterflies are in trouble; Here’s how you can helpon August 1, 2022 at 10:09 am
The migrating monarch butterfly was added last week to the “red list” of threatened species and categorized as “endangered” for the first time by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature ...
- Monarch butterflies are in trouble; Here's how you can helpon July 28, 2022 at 5:07 pm
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a butterfly. My money says the fluttering insect you're envisioning has black-veined, reddish-orange wings outlined with white specks - the iconic ...
- Monarch butterflies are in trouble. Here’s how you can help.on July 28, 2022 at 4:48 pm
Neonicotinoid pesticides are especially harmful to the species, Rodney said, as they can kill bees and adult butterflies that ingest the toxic pollen and nectar of treated plants. Since treated ...
- Monarch butterflies are in trouble; Here's how you can helpon July 28, 2022 at 11:14 am
When you bring treated plants home, and butterflies lay eggs on them, the caterpillars that follow will die when they munch the leaves.Neonicotinoid pesticides are especially harmful to the ...
- California poised to restrict bee-killing pesticideson July 27, 2022 at 9:30 am
California is acting later than many states in regulating neonicotinoids, but its rules would be among the nation's most extensive. They would change how growers kill pests on crops.
- Help Stop Collapse of Ocean Life, Part of the Biodiversity Decline Crisison July 24, 2022 at 9:01 pm
We have seen pesticide use, habitat destruction, and climate change result in dramatic losses of insect biodiversity and biomass—an “insect apocalypse” that is resulting in cascading impacts on other ...
- Pesticides Implicated In Deaths of Bees and Birdson July 13, 2022 at 5:54 am
It’s been suspected for a few years, but recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have concluded that neonicotinoid pesticides, the world’s most widely used class of insecticides, are ...
via Bing News