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Exposure To Pesticides Impairs Learning And Memory In Honeybees

Pesticides are important agricultural tools often used in combination to avoid resistance in target pest species, but there is growing concern that their widespread use contributes to the decline of pollinator populations.

Education

Exposure To Pesticides Impairs Learning And Memory In Honeybees



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For some time now there has been worries about the health of the honeybee population. Honeybees are facing an uncertain future. In recent years they have been hit by a variety of diseases and colony collapse disorder has caused numbers to plummet worldwide with the US being particularly hard hit.

Work carried out at the University of Dundee in Scotland has shown that pesticides have a huge effect on the ability of the bees to learn and to retain memory. This impairment leads to a reduction in distance traveled from the hive and a reduction in the plants pollinated by the bees.

The research is detailed in two scientific papers published in Nature Communications and the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The increasing use of pesticides, and the decline of the honeybee are concerning scientists around the world. Bees are responsible for pollinating a massive amount of crops and without the service they provide world food production will be impacted. Scientists monitor their declining numbers closely and initiatives to encourage amateur beekeepers to increase the number of hives they have is ongoing in many areas.

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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!

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