A new study has found that bees are more enticed to nectar that contains common forms of pesticides.
The study was conducted by the researchers at Trinity University Dublin and Newcastle College.
According to the researchers, the findings are worrisome as this may raise the chances of the direct exposure of the bees to the high levels of pesticides. The exposure of this kind could have various harmful implications on the health and fitness of the honey bees.
The study found that the buff-tailed bumblebees and honeybees could possibly not taste the three most frequently used pesticide, called neonicotinoid chemicals, and therefore, unable to avoid them.
As a part of the study, the researchers gave the honey bees a selection between sweets solution having neonicotinoids and sugar option. It was found that the bees were more interested in having the neonicotinoid-laced meals.
Likewise, the lab-based trial revealed that the bumblebees consumed more of the pesticides-containing meals than the honeybees. This means they were exposed to higher dosages of the chemical contaminants.
Geraldine Wright, lead study author and professor at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University, said, “Bees can’t taste neonicotinoids in their meals and therefore do not stay clear of these chemicals. This is placing them at risk of poisoning when they consume polluted nectar. The condition is worrisome as we now have evidence that honey bees prefer to consume pesticide-contaminated food.”
Neonicotinoids affect the brain of bee in the same manner as nicotine affect the human brain
The study is part of the Insect Pollinators Initiative, which is jointly funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Scottish Government, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Defra and the Wellcome Trust under the patronage of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) partnership. The study was also funded by the Irish Research Council, the Science Foundation Ireland, and the National Science Foundation.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Nature.