Bee Sperm Counts Cut Nearly in Half by PesticideJuly 28th, 2016
Cornucopia’s Take: The deadly effects of pesticides on pollinators are legion. Organic farmers don’t use these toxins, and many also plant flowers to help pollinators thrive.
Discovery provides possible explanation for increasing deaths of honeybees in recent years, according to scientists
The world’s most widely used insecticide is an inadvertent contraceptive for bees, cutting live sperm in males by almost 40%, according to research. The study also showed the neonicotinoid pesticides cut the lifespan of the drones by a third.
The scientists say the discovery provides one possible explanation for the increasing deaths of honeybees in recent years, as well as for the general decline of wild insect pollinators throughout the northern hemisphere.
Bees and other insects are vital for pollinating three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in significant decline, due to the loss of flower-rich habitats, disease and pests and the use of pesticides.