Scientists Link Chemical To Long-Term Wild Bee Decline

Aug. 24, 2016
Population decline was three times greater among bees feeding exclusively on oilseed rape.

UK scientists find that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is linked to the long-term decline of wild bee species, according to an article from The Chemical Engineer. Earlier studies have reportedly linked the chemical to the deaths of honeybees and commercial bee species but this is the first to look specifically at long-term exposure in wild bee species.

According to the article, oilseed rape seeds are coated in neonicotinoid pesticides before sowing, killing soil pests that could harm the seedlings but in the process spreading throughout the growing plant into the nectar and pollen gathered by bees. Population decline was found to be three times greater among bees feeding exclusively on oilseed rape than those foraging more wildly, according to the article. Lead researcher Ben Woodcock notes that although neonicotinoids are a contributing factor to the wild bee decline, they are likely not the only one.  The European Food Standards Authority is expected to complete its review of the dangers posed to bees by the chemical by January 2017.

Read the entire article here.

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