The research team found that bees gather pollen more frequently, but less efficiently, when exposed to the pesticide compared to bees that have not been exposed to neonicotinoids, such as thiamethoxam. Moreover, pesticide-exposure altered the types of flowers the bees visited.
The findings of this study may have major implications as bees are important pollinators for crops as well as the maintenance of ecosystems. Thus, one would hope, the findings may inform the use of pesticides to avoid negatively impacting the behavior of bees.
Stanley DA, Raine NE. Chronic exposure to a neonicotinoid pesticide alters the interactions between bumblebees and wild plants. Functional Ecology. 2016. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12644
Categories: Comparative Physiology