Two insecticides found to harm honey bee queens


The full article was originally written for SwissInfo

Two nicotine-like pesticides negatively affect the reproduction of honey bee queens, a Swiss-led team of scientists has discovered. They say the findings strengthen calls for more thorough environmental risk assessments of these pesticides to protect bees and other beneficial organisms.
Throughout the northern hemisphere beekeepers have been struggling to maintain adequate numbers of honey bee colonies for crop pollination and honey production due to dramatic increases in colony deaths each year.

“Alongside introduced parasites, it is believed that agricultural chemicals may play a role in these issues,” says lead author Geoffrey Williams of the University of Bern.
A research team from the Institute of Bee Health at the University of Bern, from the Swiss agricultural research centre Agroscope and from the Department of Biology at Acadia University in Canada recently demonstrated in an article in the open-access journal Scientific Reports that honey bee queens are extremely vulnerable to the neonicotinoid pesticides thiamethoxam and clothianidin.

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Two insecticides found to harm honey bee queens