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Pesticides impair baby bee brain development

Source: imperial.ac.uk

Pesticides can impair brain growth in baby bumblebees, affecting their ability to perform a simple learning task as adults, according to a new study.

Imperial College London researchers used micro-CT scanning technology to reveal how specific parts of bumblebee brains grew abnormally when exposed to pesticides during their larval phase.

Most previous studies have tested the effects of pesticide exposure on adult bees because these individuals directly collect pesticide-contaminated nectar and pollen. However, this study shows that baby bees can also feel the effects of the contaminated food brought back to the colony, making them poorer at performing tasks later in life. MORE

Header image: Micro-CT scan of a bumblebee brain Credit: Dylan Smith/Imperial College London.

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