Monday, June 06, 2022

Roundup (glyphosate) seriously damages wild bees' ability to keep their colonies at the right temperature, study finds

Photo by Susan Walker, Getty Images
Researchers have found that the weed killer glyphosate, typically sold as Roundup, seriously damages "the critical ability of wild bumblebees to keep their colonies at the right temperature, reports Damian Carrington, environment editor of The Guardian.

"The harm to bumblebees – vital pollinators – was not identified in regulatory risk assessments, which only test whether a pesticide rapidly kills healthy, individual bees," Carrington writes. "However, the collective failure to regulate colony temperature could have a massive impact on its ability to produce the next generation, the scientists said."

The study found damage "when the colonies were running short of food. This is common in farming regions, where wildflowers can be killed directly by glyphosate," Carrington reports. "The research is the first on wild bees, of which there are 20,000 species, though glyphosate had already been shown to harm honeybees by damaging larvae and the senses of adults. . . . Standard risk assessments are performed on well-fed, parasite-free bees, not affected by the many stresses they encounter in the real world."

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