Honeybees cannot stop and smell the flowers anymore. Despite their keen sense of smell, researchers have concluded that pollution makes it difficult for bees to properly forage, resulting in a “significant reduction in recognition.”
“When it comes to zeroing in on nectar-rich flowers, worker honeybees rely heavily on their expert sense of smell. But new research suggests pollution from diesel exhaust may fool the honeybee’s “nose,” making their search for staple flowers all the more difficult.
In a paper published recently in Scientific Reports, English scientists concluded that two components of diesel exhaust—nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide—could alter the odor of the many chemicals that combine to give a flower its signature smell.
This phenomenon, researchers said, could either hinder or prevent honeybees from reaching their target flowers, and, in the process, inhibit the pollination of the world’s principal food crops.”
The research comes at a time of great concern over the fate of pollinator insects. Globally, their numbers have been on the decline, and the potential consequences for humans are great.
Read more here.
Maryam Henein is an investigative journalist, professional researcher, and producer of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees.
HoneyColony is donating a portion of every sale of our Bee The Change T-Shirt to support ongoing efforts to stop the poisons that are killing bees and beings. Thank you for your support!