Bees that ingest nonlethal levels of popular pesticides resembling nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are losing sleep, according to new research from Vanderbilt University. That disruption of their circadian rhythm causes honey bees to lose their sense of time and navigation, leading to broader stress within highly social bee populations and lower hive survival rates.
There has long been a mysterious connection between neonicotinoid pesticides and their lethal effect on bees. Just as the public began to notice a decline in bee populations, these pesticides took off as a plant maintenance technique. While the relationship seems logical, it had not been proven. Research led by Doug McMahon, Stevenson Chair of Biological Sciences, sought to explore the connection. MORE
Header image: Vanderbilt University.