Thursday, February 11, 2016   |   5,603 users online
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos  ·  Chat
Find: in

Pesticides are causing bees to shrink


Posted on Monday, 20 January, 2014 | Comment icon 17 comments

World bee populations have been in decline for years. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Mark Winterbourne
Experts believe that honeybees exposed to common pesticides are becoming smaller and weaker.
Scientists have long speculated that the increase in use of pesticides in farming could be a contributing factor in colony collapse disorder, but now a team of researchers in the UK has conducted laboratory testing that appears to confirm that pesticides are having a negative effect.

The study has revealed that a common type of pesticide used on flowering plants is capable of stunting the growth of worker bees, making them smaller and less capable.

"We already know that larger bumblebees are more effective at foraging," said researcher Gemma Baron. "Our result, revealing that this pesticide causes bees to hatch out at a smaller size, is of concern as the size of workers produced in the field is likely to be a key component of colony success, with smaller bees being less efficient at collecting nectar and pollen from flowers."

The worldwide decline in bee populations has been of grave concern in recent years as bee pollination is an essential component in our own food chain. Scientists are now looking towards alternative methods of pest control in an effort to put a stop to the decline before it is too late.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (17)

Tags: Bee, Pesticide


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Sundew on 20 January, 2014, 22:22
It's hard to be fond of insects that sting, but the fact is honeybees and other bee species put much of the food on our tables as far as plants go. Other than grains (corn, wheat, oats, etcetera) which are wind pollinated, most food crops rely on insect pollination, the largest part being done by bees. If the bees were to disappear we would be forced to hand pollinate our crops or do without. There are already places in China where people are hand pollinating fruit trees because the bees have been eradicated. This will drive of the cost of things like apples, citrus many vegetables and any... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin on 21 January, 2014, 1:22
Honeybee's don't generally sting, as they will die from doing so(it's part of their abdomen) They do only on critical threat. Wasps and other such nasties can sting multiple times and not die doing so.
Comment icon #10 Posted by bulveye on 21 January, 2014, 9:52
They should test these chemicals for 5-10 years before being allowed to use them. In which case I would think about 95% would never get released and the cost would be too prohibitive to do anything except focus on safe options. So then people would use common sense and proper farming techniques like our ancestors did i.e, 'bio-dynamics' and creating a much wider range of one type of crops as well as CROP ROTATION!!!! When will the lazy, greedy subsidized farmers wake up and realize THEY are to blame.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 21 January, 2014, 11:30
Bees are responsible for moving plants seeds, pollen. They play a big role in ecological system. Not sure what percentage but if bees number will largely decrease we will see big problems. Damn chemicals.
Comment icon #12 Posted by bmk1245 on 21 January, 2014, 12:55
If farmer specializes in growing potatoes (or any other "single" stuff), what would you suggest to rotate? Don't accuse farmers for being "lazy", because [u]you are[/u] on exactly the same page of "laziness" with "lazy" farmers. Let me ask you: do you carry your clothes to the nearest water pool (river, lake) and scrub with bare hands/stones (as our "not lazy" ancestors did), or do you simply stuff clothes in washing machine and press button?
Comment icon #13 Posted by Rafterman on 21 January, 2014, 14:49
So your solution would be to turn back agricultural innovation 100 years? You know, back to when crops failed and entire countries starved. How's that a solution? How about we continue to develop safe pesticides and fungicides? Seems like a much better solution to me.
Comment icon #14 Posted by rashore on 21 January, 2014, 15:36
I think the problem with the bees is that there are multiple things causing problems for them, and we keep trying to pin it to just a thing or two. A magic bullet of problem. I think it's the dangerous "cides" we are using, the selective diet the bees are offered, the habit of regularly moving hives from farm to farm, the water resources that are often not good for the bees, or habit of using almost exclusively foreign nucs with minimal introduction of native nucs, general weakness allowing greater impact of disease and attacking mites/other critters. Probably a few other things ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Dark_Grey on 21 January, 2014, 21:04
Are you volunteering to do the pollinating yourself? We desperately need bees but some evil, GM food mult-national corporations don't exactly make that a priority. Living your life from one quarterly report to the next is very shortsighted. Until there's some monetary incentive, we can't expect [s]Monsanto[/s] things to change.
Comment icon #16 Posted by MyAccount on 26 January, 2014, 4:34
When I first read this I thought the shrinkage they were talking about was in numbers, but after reading the story I understand it is both in numbers and in individual sizes. I was otherwise hoping to say, "Yeah, I know a bee that dropped two dress sizes." but since the shrinkage refers to both, the comment is mute! Oh well,...
Comment icon #17 Posted by The New Richard Nixon on 26 January, 2014, 9:29
I have seen smaller bees but also i have seen big bees the size of a 50p coin


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:
Users online:
5,587,015
255,181
128,328
5,603
 
Taxi drivers pick up 'phantom fares' in Japan
2-10-2016
Several cab drivers have reported having strange experiences in the area hit by the 2011 tsunami.
Birds of prey are deliberately starting fires
2-10-2016
Falcons and kites in Australia have been starting bush fires in an effort to smoke out small animals.
Bacteria are able to see the world like we do
2-10-2016
Scientists have revealed that bacteria are not that dissimilar to us when it comes to sensing light.
'Virgin birth' bamboo shark lays two eggs
2-9-2016
A female shark at a UK sea life center has laid two eggs despite having had no contact with a male.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
World's longest selfie stick
Posted 2-10-2016 | 0 comments
Ben Stiller broke the world record at the Zoolander 2 premiere with a 8.56-meter selfie stick.
 
Lucky escape from a crocodile
Posted 2-9-2016 | 1 comment
What do you do when you come face to face with a crocodile while underwater ?
 
Looking back - the man who turned blue
Posted 2-8-2016 | 0 comments
Back in 2008 Paul Karason became famous for his remarkable blue-colored skin.
 
Is invisibility possible ?
Posted 2-7-2016 | 0 comments
James May investigates whether it is really possible to make something invisible.
 
Math magic
Posted 2-6-2016 | 0 comments
Michael from Vsauce takes a look at some mathematical magic tricks.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
A haunting in Cardiff
2-6-2016 | Cardiff, Wales
 
The disappearing cross
1-13-2016 | Bothell WA
 
The woman from the 1940s
12-24-2015 | California, United States
 
Who’s following me?
12-24-2015 | California, United States
 
Great balls of fire
10-31-2015 | West Texas
 
West Texas ghost town flyer
9-28-2015 | Texas
 
Haunted farmhouse
9-28-2015 | Cuaque, Ecuador
 
UFO sighting over Japan
8-13-2015 | Japan
 
Twin UFOs on patrol
8-6-2015 | England
 
Something roaming in the woods
7-19-2015 | Salt Fork, Ohio
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.6 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ