|Bee feeds larva in a hive|
Four pesticides commonly used on crops to kill insects and fungi also kill honeybee larvae within their hives, according to Penn State and University of Florida researchers. The team also found that N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) — an inert, or inactive, chemical commonly used as a pesticide additive — is highly toxic to honeybee larvae.
Wanyi Zhu, Daniel R. Schmehl, Christopher A. Mullin, James L. Frazier. Four Common Pesticides, Their Mixtures and a Formulation Solvent in the Hive Environment Have High Oral Toxicity to Honey Bee Larvae. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (1): e77547 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077547
Among the four pesticides, honeybee larvae were most sensitive to chlorothalonil. They also were negatively affected by a mixture of chlorothalonil with fluvalinate. In addition, the larvae were sensitive to the combination of chlorothalonil with the miticide coumaphos. In contrast, the addition of coumaphos significantly reduced the toxicity of the fluvalinate and chlorothalonil mixture.
According to Chris Mullin, professor of entomology, Penn State, these pesticides may directly poison honeybee larvae or they may indirectly kill them by disrupting the beneficial fungi that are essential for nurse bees to process pollen into beebread.“Chronic exposure to pesticides during the early life stage of honeybees may contribute to their inadequate nutrition or direct poisoning with a resulting impact on the survival and development of the entire bee brood,” he said.
“Our findings suggest that the common pesticides chlorothalonil, fluvalinate, coumaphos and chloropyrifos, individually or in mixtures, have statistically significant impacts on honeybee larval survivorship,” Mullin said. “This is the first study to report serious toxic effects on developing honeybee larvae of dietary pesticides at concentrations that currently occur in hives.”
Good thing I stopped all caffeine and chemicals during my pregnancies. I think all fast-dividing creatures are most vulnerable to chemical or radiation insult.
OH lovely… so all we'll have left are the Africanized ones, if that…
More African products don't bode well.
Any rancher or farmer or gardener worth anything is very aware of the major importance of the sustainability of his bee population. We use bees for many of our major crops and eventually started our own hives in order to protect them and have them working when and where most needed. Being good stewards of the creatures, and land that make things possible is just good common sense.
When the bees started dying, it was a mystery. I didn't think so…
Old NFO is right – there will be unintended consequences of these already unintended consequences.
Another "advance"in science.
If bees go away, we all starve. Bottom line.
If we are not good and wise stewards of the land, consequences always follow.
Bees are part of the CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE. We either care for them or they go away and we pay big time.
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