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Science Bulletins: Bee Deaths Linked to Common Pesticides

Several recent studies have questioned whether exposure to common pesticides might be impairing bee performance and contributing to the observed population declines. Neonicotinoids are a family of pesticides chemically related to nicotine, and are widely used in both large-scale agriculture as well as in home gardening products. This type of pesticide circulates through flowering plants and collects in nectar and pollen. Recent studies conducted by several research groups have shown that even low doses of neonicotinoid pesticides can impair bees' navigation abilities and reduce the growth of bee colonies. Insects, particularly bees, are the dominant pollinators in temperate regions worldwide. Declines of honey, bumble, and solitary bees may lead to serious repercussions, not only for crop plant production but for the reproductive success of wild flowering plants, as well.This latest Bio Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History's Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of Biodiversity until June 6, 2012. Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/.Related LinksBulletin of Insectology: In situ replication of honey bee colony collapse disorderhttp://www.bulletinofinsectology.org/pdfarticles/vol65-2012-099-106lu.pdfSCIENCE: A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Beeshttp://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/03/28/science.1215039.full?sid=a3460c44-7c24-4f62-8db0-c979af75de25SCIENCE: Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Productionhttp://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/03/28/science.1215025.full?sid=7eeed28b-3be1-47a1-9d22-c197871e0a06United States Department of Agriculture: Colony Collapse Disorderhttp://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=15572United States Environmental Protection Agency: Pesticide issues in the workshttp://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/intheworks/honeybee.htmNational Pesticide Information Centerhttp://npic.orst.edu/about.htmlEastern Apiculture Societyhttp://www.easternapiculture.org/North Carolina State University Apiculture Programhttp://www.cals.ncsu.edu/entomology/apiculture/BEES.html
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