Honey Bees in the News

There has been a great deal of press and publicity about honey bees lately.  These work-horses of pollination services contribute an estimated $19.2 billion to farm income per year out of approximately $29 billion worth insect-pollinated crops grown in the U.S.  (Cornell Chronicle)

It makes sense to pay attention to the stresses that affect honey bees.  See earlier articles on insecticide use in the home landscape and farm fields.

Here are two more recent news reports on unintended consequences and negative impacts on honey bees.

1.  Diesel exhaust pollution may disrupt honey bee foraging.  Scientists at the University of Southampton (Britain) found that the nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide found in diesel exhaust emissions disrupted the honey bees' ability to learn and recognize plants which could affect pollination.

2.  High fructose corn syrup may compromise honey bee immune system.  Entomologists at the University of Illinois found that corn syrup fed as a substitute for honey harvested from the colony does not provide the same important nutrients the help honey bees fight off pathogens and toxins (including pesticides).


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