Josie Taylor | November 28, 2021
A new study found that pesticides are even more harmful to pollinators than previously thought.
A study by Stuligross and colleagues tallying the detrimental impacts of a key pesticide on reproduction of a bee species adds to growing evidence that such insects, which make up the vast majority of bee species, are vulnerable to the compounds.
Their findings suggest the harm of pesticides can accumulate over multiple generations, which could exacerbate the loss of species that provide valuable pollination for farms and ecosystems. Pesticides can harm both larva and adult bees.
The work demonstrates that chronic pesticide poisoning can cause “meaningful and significant impacts” on bees, says Nigel Raine, a bee ecologist at the University of Guelph who was not personally involved with the study.
Neonicotinoids pesticides which are sprayed on soil and seeds were found to be the most harmful. They affect both the memory of most bees and the ability to reproduce. Pesticides like these were found to be more harmful to these aspects than scientists had once thought.
Pollinators are necessary to plant and crop growth. A lack of pollination will ultimately lead to a lack of food and necessary plants.