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Poisoned Pollen

June 15, 2016

The wide variety of pollen bees consume exposes them to a harmful pesticides.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

A bumper crop of poisoned pollen. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Bee experts worry that honeybees in farm communities will suffer because they consume pesticide-laced pollen from nearby crops. But in the journal Nature Communications, Purdue entomologist Christian Krupke reports that even with a large source of corn pollen nearby, bees roamed great distances.

CHRISTIAN KRUPKE (Purdue University):

These bees were sampling the environment for us and they were bring back the message that there are many sources of exposure out there, and even if you put them right beside a cornfield, they don’t have that cornfield’s signature. They don’t have just those pesticides.

HIRSHON:

The bees picked up pollen from residential gardens, laced with pesticides not used on farms and even insect repellents and other chemicals. He says the take-home message is that to protect bees and other pollinators, homeowners need to join farmers in controlling pesticide use.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon