https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-11-09/neonicotinoid-insecticide-causes-bees-to-abandon-their-young/10477282Spying on bumblebees as they nest has revealed strange behaviour in those exposed to tiny amounts of a widely used pesticide.
Key points
Bumblebees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticide spent less time nursing
Research adds to the case that widely used pesticide adversely affects bees
Native bees could theoretically be at greater risk than honey bees, but experts say more research is needed
A study published in the journal Science found bees exposed to an insecticide called imidacloprid were less likely to feed and care for their larvae, and spent more time hanging out around the edges of the nest.
According to study lead author and Harvard University biologist James Crall, the most surprising and puzzling finding was that the effect on bee behaviour was strongest at night.
“If you look overnight, it’s totally striking,” Dr Crall said.
“Oftentimes the majority or all of a colony [affected by imidaclorprid] will be immobile — which you never see in healthy colonies.
“That means less nursing overnight.”


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