US study finds neonicotinoid danger

A US government bee expert has found even minute doses of neonicotinoid made bees three times more vulnerable to infections from parasites.

Dr Jeffrey Pettis said neonicotinoid could be a ‘major contributor’ to the mysterious decline of bees worldwide.

In Britain numbers have fallen by half since the 1980s.

Dr Pettis, of the US Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Laboratory tested bees given doses of imidacloprid.

The study showed that in a laboratory setting infections by the nosema parasite increased significantly when they were fed pollen spiked with the imidacloprid and then fed a sugar solution containing the bug, compared to those who did not have the chemical.

The full findings are published in the German science journal Naturwissenschaften.



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