Neonicotinoids, a new inadvertent contraceptive for honeybees and bumblebees?

July 28, 2016

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Bumblebees and their ecology, Gardening For Wildlife

Neonicotinoids, a new inadvertent contraceptive for bees?

Not only may neonicotinoids be the new DDT, researchers have already found that neonicotinoids can reduce bumblebee queen reproduction by 85%! And now the latest research (see below) shows that neonicotinoids can reduce honeybee drone (male) sperm viability by 39% and reduce their lifespan. How much longer can our bees and other insects survive this neonicotinoid onslaught for chemical company profits?

Male, "Hm! I wonder if she has taken a contraceptive unknowingly?"

Queen “Hm! I wonder if he has taken a contraceptive unknowingly?” Ditto male!

After mating with the bumblebee queen, the male then leaves a ‘love plug’ or mating plug inside the queen to build up a physical barrier allowing him to optimise his sperm being successful and reduce her receptivity to other males! So if neonics affect bumblebee males as they do drone honeybees, his sperm count may already be diminished and as she cannot mate with other males this will not be good for this species either.

Download the research:  Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumblebee colony growth and queen production

Download the research: Neonicotinoid insecticides can serve as inadvertent insect contraceptives

Guardian article: Leading insecticide cuts bee sperm by almost 40%, study shows

Interested in a pollinator Citizen science project? Buzz Club

For more bumblebee information and to help save bumblebees join the Bumblebee Conservation Trust at Stirling University

For more information about  bees and wasps visit BWARS

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my  teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues. http://nurturing-nature.co.uk  Thank you” George Pilkington

 

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