Neonicotinoid Pesticides exposure in Bumblebees May Lead to Poor Pollination

Neonicotinoid Pesticides exposure in Bumblebees May Lead to Poor Pollination

A team of researchers, through a recently conducted study, found that bumblebees exposed to a common type of neonicotinoid pesticides perform their pollination job poorly.

Study researchers said they found that when apple trees were pollinated by bees exposed to those pesticides, the trees produced about a third fewer seeds. The number of seeds is generally linked to fruit quality in apples. Apples that have more seeds are larger, firmer, tastier and more symmetric, said experts.

On the other hand, apples with less seeds are more likely to end up as lower-value products such as applesauce, said Nigel Raine, the University of Guelph researcher who led the study.

As per the study’s findings published in the journal Nature, bumblebees are very important pollinators for several important crops, such as beans, berries, tomatoes and oilseed rape.

“If exposure to pesticides alters pollination services to apple crops, it is likely that these other bee-pollinated crops would also be affected. Most importantly, the majority of wild plant species benefit from insect pollination services”, the researchers wrote.

Raine said the study’s findings are really important not only for economics and food production of agriculture, but these findings will also help researchers and experts to think about biodiversity more deeply.

The researchers concluded that use of neonics has affected both production of other crops and wild ecosystems. Neonics, or neonicotinoids, are widely used to treat seeds of crops such as canola, corn and soybeans.

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