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Studies determine neonicotinoid effects on bees

Two recently published studies from research groups in France and the UK have shown how neonicotinoid insecticides adversely affect bees. The UK study looked at the effects of low-level exposure to the neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, on bumble bees ( Bombus terrestris) under natural foraging conditions. The researchers measured colony sizes by weighing the entire nest, including bees, wax, honey, bee grubs and pollen. Colonies exposed to imidacloprid gained 8-12% less weight than unexposed colonies. The discrepancy suggested that less food was coming into exposed colonies through foraging activities. The treated colonies also produced about 85% fewer queens, which would have a knock-on effect on the number of new colonies established in following years.

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