According to the study, honeybees which pollinate major crops like almonds did not show significant ill effect than wild bees like bumblebees did. The study is published in journal Nature; the finding is a bit surprising to some experts.
According to the second study, the bees prefer pesticide coated crops and they are not repelled by the pesticides making the problem worse.
Over several years bees of all kinds and especially the ones that are crucial to pollinate plants are declining.
Pesticide problem is one of the many problems and colony collapse disorder is a separate problem which devastated honeybee population in recent years but is now narrowing.
Exposure of bees to neonicotinoid insecticides has caused ill effects to bees, it has reduced the population of wild bees and it also resulted in less reproduction, and the colonies of the bees exposed to the pesticide didn’t grow compared to the bees colonies which are not exposed to the pesticide.
Scientists in Sweden conducted a study on the bees. They used 16 patches of landscape; eight where canola seeds were coated with the pesticide and other eight patches weren’t and then they compared the two areas.
Maj Rundlof of Lund University, lead author of the study said, when the results came in, “I was quite, ‘Oh my God,'” and said the reduction in bee health was “much more dramatic than I ever expected.”
In the areas treated with pesticide there were half as many wild bees per square meter then there were in the areas which were not treated.
Rundlof said, the bees in the pesticide patches gained no weight compared to the normal colonies which gained about a pound.
European Union has a ban on the usage of neonocotinoids and some environmentalists in the United States are pushing for the same.
Rundlof conducted her study just before European ban went into effect in 2013
Dennis vanEnglesdor, entomologist from University of Maryland, who wasn’t part of the study said, “This paper has the potential of really shifting the conversation, neonics may have a very dramatic effect on these non-managed pollinators in the environment. This is the most definitive work I’ve seen in the area.”
Rundolf’s study couldn’t measure an effect on honey bees, just wild native bees. She said, there may be an effect but it would be under 20 percent.
Different species of bees respond differently and will only result in confusion because until now, scientists have used domesticated honeybees as the model for all bees.
Scientist believe that honeybees which have colonies in the tens and thousands can absorb more losses than the less sociable native bees, which have smaller colonies and have more difficulty in getting new queens.
Honeybees are more sociable and they are probably much better adapted at taking abuse.
In 2013 a study found that wild bees and other insects are more important and efficient for pollination than honeybees. Wildflowers around the world are mostly pollinated by wild bees.
Environmental groups are using the study to put pressure on the government of US to ban the pesticide class.