DIY





Chemical Fungicide Attracts Honey Bees


| 2/21/2018 10:03:00 AM



beeRecent studies have discovered a shift in the pollination preference of a honey bee. In the journal Scientific Reports, researchers state that they are now finding that honey bee foragers prefer to collect syrup laced with the fungicide chlorothalonil to regular sugar syrup found in nature.

Chlorothalonil and other fungicide chemicals can interfere with a honey bee’s ability to metabolize other compounds or chemicals, putting them in danger.

The trouble with these fungicides is that many people use them believing that they will only affect fungi. In reality, fungi are more closely related to animals than they are to plants, which means that fungicides are more harmful to the animals that interact or ingest them than they are to surrounding plants, which includes honey bees.

The largest contaminants found in honey bee hives are chemicals found in fungicides, which researches suspect that the honey bees are bringing it in themselves. Many are puzzled by this, believing that the honey bees would know to avoid the unnatural chemicals, but for some species, the preference and willingness to forage for these chemicals could be explained by their evolutionary history.

“Honey bee foragers are gleaners,” said University of Illinois entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum. “They’re active from early spring until late fall, and no single floral source exists for them for that whole season. If they don’t have a drive to search out something new, that’s going to seriously compromise their ability to find the succession of flowers they need. Unnatural chemicals might be a signal for a new food.”



Most concerning, however, is the research that shows that exposure to fungicides can interfere with a honey bee’s ability to metabolize acaricides used by many bee keepers to kill off varroa mites that can infest bee hives and kill off the bees quickly. This leaves the honey bees incredibly vulnerable to a harmful pest that target bees.



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard