Pesticides, the new addiction for bees!

by Olimpia Ferguson, Entomology major

Recently, a study on bee food preference has come out with startling new information, as reported by Newcastle University scientists in Nature. The tests done showed that when bees are given the option to choose between regular sugar solution and a sugar solution containing a  neonicotinoid pesticide, they tended to choose the neonicotinoid contaminated solution. These bees were also found to eat more of the neonicotinoid solution than normal.

This is troubling news, as these pesticides may be associated with negative impacts on bee colonies, and may be very harmful to the health of bees. These findings suggest that bees will likely chose crops treated with neonicotinoids even though there are alternate food sources. If the findings in this study prove to be consistent, environmental protection groups and other agencies are likely to use this information to push the ban on neonicotinoids. Studies such as these shed new light on the possible reasons for colony collapse disorder.

View Science Daily article:
Are bees hooked on nectar containing pesticides?

This blog post was an assignment for Societal Issues: Pesticides, Alternatives and the Environment (PLNTPTH 4597). The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the class, Department of Plant Pathology or the instructor.

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