“Are Honeybees losing their way?” – National Geographic

“Honeybees learn and remember the locations of flowers, but a new study shows they may be losing their way.” Photograph by John Kimbler, My Shot Source: National Geographic

This article, written by Christy Ullrich for National Geographic News is subtitled, “A combo of pesticides takes a toll on their memory and communication skills,” referring to honeybees.

Ullrich writes:

A single honeybee visits hundreds, sometimes thousands, of flowers a day in search of nectar and pollen. Then it must find its way back to the hive, navigating distances up to five miles (eight kilometers), and perform a “waggle dance” to tell the other bees where the flowers are.

A new study shows that long-term exposure to a combination of certain pesticides might impair the bee’s ability to carry out its pollen mission.

“Any impairment in their ability to do this could have a strong effect on their survival,” said Geraldine Wright, a neuroscientist at Newcastle University in England and co-author of a new study posted online February 7, 2013, in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

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