Human activity has massively harmed the bee population within the last few years. Climate change, various types of pesticides and pollutants are just a few of the things that caused such an increased number pollinators to die every year.
Millions of dollars have been invested into research that could establish the exact causes of such loss that affects so many crops which rely almost entirely on bees’ pollination.
Thus, another study links bees’ sickness to aluminum residues found in the nectar they ingest. Researchers from Keele and Sussex Universities tested the role this substance might have on the insects by analyzing pupae collected from bees just before they reach adulthood.
Shockingly enough, they found that they contained between 13 and 200 ppm aluminum. What was even more surprising was that smaller pupae contained even larger amounts of aluminum.
Even if it has not yet been proved, it is believed that such big quantities of aluminum might cause Alzheimer’s-like symptoms to bees.
“It is widely accepted that a number of interacting factors are likely to be involved in the decline of bees and other pollinators – lack of flowers, attacks by parasites, and exposure to pesticide cocktails; for example,” said Chris Exley, who is an expert on aluminum and human exposure.
Aluminum residues are believed to be connected to Alzheimer’s disease when it comes to humans. Nevertheless, humans are much larger and heavier than bees and, even so, a toxicity level of aluminum as large as 3 ppm is still considered too much, as it can cause damage to brain tissues.
The sad part is that the little insects have no way of protecting themselves against these residues because they are unable to detect nectar that has been contaminated.
Aluminum is considered to be a dangerous neurotoxin that affects animals and humans alike. However, it seems that this chemical is discarded everywhere and it affects many environments. Fish are intoxicated with aluminum that is disposed of in the water, crops are affected by the substances absorbed in the earth and animals and insects are affected by the intoxicated plants they eat.
As it is the case with many problems our environment faces, human activity is also to blame for these massive amounts of aluminum discarded everywhere. Scientists say that the burning of fossil fuels which results in acid rain and the mining of various aluminum ores in order to make aluminum salts or other things, have contributed greatly to the presence of this damaging substance everywhere.
Therefore, researchers warn us that the misuse of such chemicals will have devastating consequences on many sectors of our lives.
Image Source: climatekids