Pesticide-dosed bees lose future royalty, way home | Science News



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Pesticide-dosed bees lose future royalty, way home

Low doses of insecticides can lead to fewer queens, shrinking colonies

6:41pm, March 29, 2012

What does not kill them does not in fact make them stronger when it comes to bees and pesticides. Two unusual studies with free-flying bumblebees and honeybees find that survivable exposure to certain pesticides can lead to delayed downturns in bee royalty and a subtle erosion of workforces.

Pesticides appear as a suspect in widespread declines, sometimes subtle and sometimes dramatic, of the bees and other animals that pollinate crops and wild plants. And in one of the most dramatic still unsolved mysteries in those declines — why honeybee colonies suddenly collapse — one leading hypothesis combines chronic pesticide exposure with other stressors s

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