Environment

Pesticides in wild plants

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Science  20 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6263, pp. 924-925
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6263.924-b

Are honey bees harmed by agricultural neonicotinoid pesticide use? Field studies attempting to address this question have often found neonicotinoid contamination in control colonies. Botias et al. now show, from a field study conducted in Sussex, UK, that neonicotinoid concentrations in the pollen and nectar of wildflowers growing at the margins of treated oilseed rape fields were higher overall than in pollen from the treated plants. Most neonicotinoids brought back to hives came from these contaminated wildflowers. Such wild plant contamination may be one reason for the contaminated controls in previous studies. Other invertebrates will also be affected by chronic exposure to neonicotinoids from wild plants and soils near treated fields.

Environ. Sci. Technol. 10.1021/acs.est.5b03459 (2015).

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