Popular weed killer may be to blame for honey bee deaths, study suggests

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Are honey bees getting fatally “stung” by a kind of weed killer?

Researchers on the College of Texas at Austin just lately found bees “lose a number of the helpful micro organism of their guts and are extra prone to an infection and dying from dangerous micro organism” when uncovered to a preferred herbicide referred to as glyphosate. 

A research, printed this week within the “Proceedings of the Nationwide Academy of Sciences,” describes the tactic scientists used to attract that conclusion.

“The researchers uncovered honey bees to glyphosate at ranges identified to happen in crop fields, yards and roadsides. The researchers painted the bees’ backs with coloured dots so that they could possibly be tracked and later recaptured,” UT Austin mentioned in an announcement.

Glyphosate was discovered to have “considerably diminished wholesome intestine microbiota” when scientists taken care of three days. 

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The research examined how bees had been affected after they had been confronted with a kind of pathogen referred to as Serratia marcescens, too. 

“About half of bees with a wholesome microbiome had been nonetheless alive eight days after publicity to the pathogen, whereas solely a few tenth of bees whose microbiomes had been altered by publicity to the herbicide had been nonetheless alive,” the varsity defined.

Erik Motta, a graduate pupil who co-led the mission, referred to as for improved protocols. 

“We want higher tips for glyphosate use, particularly relating to bee publicity, as a result of proper now the rules assume bees should not harmed by the herbicide,” he mentioned in an announcement. “Our research reveals that’s not true.”

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The varsity says glyphosate is presumably “not directly killing bees.” 

However Monsanto — whose product Roundup accommodates the herbicide — has denied that glyphosate is dangerous to them. 

“Claims that glyphosate has a adverse affect on honey bees are merely not true,” a spokesman for the corporate advised The Guardian. “No large-scale research has discovered any hyperlink between glyphosate and the decline of the honeybee inhabitants.”

The consultant added, “Greater than 40 years of sturdy, impartial scientific proof reveals that it poses no unreasonable threat for people, animal, and the setting typically.”

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