Bees get a Buzz from Pesticides?
Neonicotinoids are widely used in agriculture, have been implicated in the ongoing declines of bees and other pollinators. Defenders of these useful chemicals have suggested that bees in the natural environment would detect the toxins and avoid feeding on pesticide treated crops.
However new work by Dr. Geraldine Wright, of the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University, suggests that bees may actually prefer pesticide contaminated plants. In taste tests she found bees had a slight preference for sugar solutions containing the pesticides, which she suspects might be because of their nicotine-like affect on the bees' brains.