Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stress a key factor in causing bee colonies to fail

Date:
October 7, 2013
Source:
Royal Holloway, University of London
Summary:
Extended periods of stress can cause bee colony failures, according to new research.

Extended periods of stress can cause bee colony failures, according to new research from Royal Holloway University.
Credit: Nigel E. Raine

Scientists from Royal Holloway University have found that when bees are exposed to low levels of neonicotinoid pesticides -- which do not directly kill bees -- their behaviour changes and they stop working properly for their colonies.

Related Articles


The results showed that exposure to pesticides at levels bees encounter in the field, has subtle impacts on individual bees, and can eventually make colonies fail.

This discovery provides an important breakthrough in identifying the reasons for the recent global decline of bees, a trend that has baffled many experts worldwide.

"One in three mouthfuls of our food depend on bee pollination," said lead author, Dr John Bryden from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway. "By understanding the complex way in which colonies fail and die, we've made a crucial step in being able to link bee declines to pesticides and other factors, such as habitat loss and disease which can all contribute to colony failure."

"Exposing bees to pesticides is a bit like adding more and more weight on someone's shoulders. A person can keep walking normally under a bit of weight, but when it gets too much -- they collapse. Similarly, bee colonies can keep growing when bees aren't too stressed, but if stress levels get too high the colony will eventually fail," added Dr Bryden.

"Our research provides important insights to the biology of pollinators," said co-author Professor Vincent Jansen. "It is intriguing that the way in which bees work together is the key to their success, but could also contribute to their decline and colony failure."

The research was funded as part of the 10 million 'Insect Pollinators Initiative,' set-up to understand the causes of pollinator declines and safeguard future pollination services.

"Pesticides can have a detrimental effect on bees at levels used in the field," said co-author Dr Nigel Raine. "Our research will provide important evidence for policymakers. The way we test pesticides, the way we assess their impact on bees, and the way we manage pesticides can all be improved."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Holloway, University of London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Royal Holloway, University of London. "Stress a key factor in causing bee colonies to fail." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007094510.htm>.
Royal Holloway, University of London. (2013, October 7). Stress a key factor in causing bee colonies to fail. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007094510.htm
Royal Holloway, University of London. "Stress a key factor in causing bee colonies to fail." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007094510.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins