Navigation Links
New research: Are global honey bee declines caused by diesel pollution?

Scientists are investigating a possible link between tiny particles of pollution found in diesel fumes and the global collapse of honey bee colonies.

Professor Guy Poppy, an ecologist, Dr Tracey Newman, a neuroscientist, and their team from the University of Southampton believe that minuscule particles, or 'nanoparticles', emitted from diesel engines could be affecting bees' brains and damaging their inbuilt 'sat-navs'. They believe this may stop worker bees finding their way back to the hive.

The team is also investigating the possibility that nanoparticles are one of a number of stress factors that could lead to a tipping point in bee health, which in turn could contribute to bee colony collapse.

"Diesel road-traffic is increasing in the UK and research from the US has shown that nanoparticles found in its fumes can be detrimental to the brains of animals when they are exposed to large doses. We want to find out if bees are affected in the same way and answer the question of why bees aren't finding their way back to the hive when they leave to find food," explains Professor Poppy.

Bees are estimated to contribute billions to the world's economy - 430 million a year to the UK alone - by pollinating crops, producing honey and supporting employment. Yet winter losses have led to the loss of tens of thousands of beehives year on year since 2007. The US has seen a 35 per cent unexplained drop in the number of hives in 2007, 2008 and 2009*. Extensive research, including a recent United Nations Report, has so far not identified the cause of bee declines.

The team from the University of Southampton, including biologists, nanotechnology researchers and ecologists will test the behavioural and neurological changes in honey bees, after exposure to diesel nanoparticles.

Chemical ecologist Dr Robbie Girling, adds: "The diesel fumes may have a dual affect in that they may be mopping up flower smells in the air, making it harder for the bees to find their food sources."

Recent research which has revealed more about the effects of nanoparticles has enabled scientists to investigate this possible link to bee colony collapse.

The three year study has been made possible by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant of 156,000.


Contact: Sophie Docker
University of Southampton

Related biology news :

1. New research: Milk-drinking teens reap health benefits through adulthood
2. Princeton research: In the early life of an embryo, a monster lurks
3. MS research: Myelin influences how brain cells send signals
4. USC research: Cancer cells and stem cells share same origin
5. AgriLife research: Multi-paddock grazing is superior to continuous grazing
6. MIT research: Life after Snowball Earth
7. New research: Post-exercise recovery advantages of lowfat chocolate milk
8. MIT control theory research: How to control complex networks
9. Interventional radiologists advance MS research: Vein-opening treatment safe
10. UCR scientists to explore new genetic tools in mosquito research: Transposable elements
11. UC research: Rabbits food brings luck in decreasing estrogen levels in wastewater
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, ... secure authentication solutions, today announced that it has ... Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation ... program. "Innovation has been a driving ... Thor program will allow us to innovate and ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell ... Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into ... data, the first application of deep learning to create ... cell lines and a growing suite of powerful tools. ... these and future publicly available resources created and shared ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of ... performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it ... Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life ... for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan ... The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary ...
Breaking Biology Technology: