Bee Fayre > News > A guest blog post by Fiona Roberts: Bees and neonicotinoid pesticides

A guest blog post by Fiona Roberts: Bees and neonicotinoid pesticides

Fiona Roberts, producer of BBC World Service’s Science in Action, is also a close friend of Beefayre’s founder, Sharon.

Fiona recently produced a radio programme on Science in Action about bee’s attraction to toxic pesticides – an issue close to the heart of Beefayre and a threat to the survival of the British honeybee.

You can replay and listen to the programme here –

Fiona explains:
“Some of the commonly-used neonicotinoid pesticides have been shown to pose a serious risk to wild bees according to two scientific studies in the journal Nature this week (see below).
In the largest outdoor field trial to date, looking at the effects of neonicotinoids on beneficial pollinating bees, researchers found that the pesticide has a significant impact on the ability of wild bumblebees to form colonies, and on solitary bees to build their nests.
The second laboratory study showed the surprising finding that bumblebees do not avoid neonictinoid-laced sugar solution, as had been speculated. But they seem to prefer toxin-laced nectar compared to food untainted with neonics, possibly due to drug-like effects on the insect’s brain. Neonicotinoids target the same mechanisms in the bee brain that are affected by nicotine in the human brain.”




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