STATES CHRONICLE – A new study that collected and analyzed honey samples from all over the world reported finding pesticides harmful to bees in 75 percent of them. The researchers found traces of neonicotinoids, one if not the most commonly used type of insecticides.
Why Detecting Pesticides in 75 Percent of the Honey Matters
The University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland researchers that conducted this study analyzed 198 samples of honey. These were reportedly collected from all of the continents, except Antarctica.
According to their analysis, some 75 percent of all the tested honey presented “quantifiable amounts” of more than one pesticide.
The results found that the honey in Asia and North America returned the highest pesticide contamination levels. Around 86 percent of the North American honey samples contained one or more neonicotinoids, and the Asian ones some 80 percent.
European honey samples were just a little behind, with 79 percent of them returning traces of at least one neonicotinoid. The South American samples were the least laced, although they still reached a 57 percent of them being contaminated level.
In general, around 45 percent of all the honey samples reportedly contain two neonicotinoids in their composition. Some 10 percent of them returned traces of four to five of them.
“Our results confirm the exposure of bees to neonicotinoids in their food throughout the world,” writes the study team in its research paper.
The scientists point out that the neonicotinoid levels, although significant, are not a threat to humans. They are, however, potentially dangerous to bees. These important pollinators are only on a downwards slope with their numbers still falling, albeit more slowly than in past years.
Still, researchers warn that neonicotinoids are “highly persistent” once released into the environment as they can easily turn up in water samples, soil, and wildflowers.
As such, the team considers its findings quite alarming as the pesticide contamination levels are enough to affect a bee brain’s function as well as their ability to forage and pollinate plants.
Detailed study findings are available in a paper in the journal Science.
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