A former student at the University of Saskatchewan conducted a study showing insecticides impair honey bee navigation.
dr Rachel Parkinson started this research in 2019 at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Massachusetts.
After exposing bees to insecticides and using a bee-sized treadmill with screens showing a real-world environment, they were able to track the bee’s path and analyze the results.
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“The importance of the research is that this study shows for the first time that the ability of bees to encode and respond to visual information is impaired by insecticides. Bees use the same type of visual information that we tested in walking bees during flight to stabilize and navigate,” Parkinson said. “The next step is to test whether flying bees experience the same impairments.”
dr Parkinson’s concern is the negative effects of insecticides on bees and how they may affect their foraging, navigation and pollinating ability.
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“What we really need to do is try to find compounds that are as safe in the environment as possible, and to do that we really need to focus on what these subtle sublethal effects are,” said Dr. Rachel Parkinson, Oxford University researcher.
Parkinson wants to understand these effects in order to give insects a better chance of survival.
“A better understanding of these effects increases the chances of survival of these beneficial insects,” said Dr. Jack Gray, Professor of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9090992/researcher-discovers-insecticides-impair-ability-of-honeybees-to-navigate/ Researcher Discovers Insecticides Impair Honey Bee Navigation Ability – Saskatoon