Researchers have shown through a new study that neonicotinoid pesticides are detrimental for honey bee population as they reduce bee sperm quality as well as quantity.
Published in PloS ONE, the study by researchers at Mainz University Medical Center and Goethe University Frankfurt reveals previously unknown and harmful effects of neonicotinoid pesticides and call for inclusion in these findings when policy formulation regarding honey bees is being carried out for these pesticides could be one of the reasons behind the alarming bee mortality.
According to the team of researchers when neonicotinoids are used in low and field-relevant concentrations, they reduce the concentration of acetylcholine in the royal jelly/larval food secreted by nurse bees. According to scientists acetylcholine is relevant for the development of the honeybee larvae. Higher doses of these neonicotinoids have the potential of damaging the so-called microchannels of the royal jelly gland in which acetylcholine is produced.
There have been reports earlier that these class of insecticides could be dangerous for honey bees and this latest report published in journal PloS ONE are a strong proof that there is undesirable effect of neonicotinoids on honey bees and represent a clear hazard to bee populations. Authors of the paper have also called for consideration of their findings in the forthcoming reassessment of the environmental risks of this substance class.
Neonicotinoid have their benefits as well
While the recent study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates a significant hazard to honey bees, a study published in April this year has pegged neonicotinoids as being helpful for production of higher soybean yields. Published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, the study shows that neonicotinoid seed treatments did provide a benefit to growers. Neonicotinoid seed treatments resulted in yields that were 203 kg/hectare higher in Louisiana, 165 kg/hectare higher in Mississippi, 112 kg/hectare higher in Arkansas, and 70 kg/hectare higher in Tennessee.
Bed bugs have developed resistance against neonicotinoids
One of the most of the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs are not effective because the pesky insects have built up a tolerance to them, according to a team of researchers from Virginia Tech and New Mexico State University. Researchers have shown that overuse of certain insecticides has led to an increased resistance to the compounds, making them much less effective than advertised. The two examined the class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics, which is often paired with pyrethroids in commercial applications to treat bedbugs.