The baby bees are not alright.
A new study found that pesticides not only impact adult bees, but they impair the brain development of baby bees who feed on the contaminated food.
Researchers at Imperial College London used micro-CT scanning technology to analyze brains of nearly 100 baby bees in different colonies, and published their findings Wednesday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
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They found bees exposed to pesticides as larvae had smaller volume of the brain's "mushroom body" — a portion associated with learning. This leads to poor performance, meaning that as adults, they may not be able to "forage for food properly," per Phys.org.
This is particularly alarming, as bees pollinate roughly 75 percent of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables grown in the U.S. — one in every four bites of food people take is thanks to bees, who pollinate as they forage for food, according to the USDA.
Many previous studies have only focused on the direct exposure of adult bees, Gill said, "Our work highlights the need for guidelines on pesticide usage to consider this route of exposure."
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