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article imageStudy: Insecticide cuts bee sperm by nearly 40 percent

By Owen Weldon     Jul 29, 2016 in Environment
A new study revealed that two insecticides, one banned in various European nations but still used in America, can reduce the sperm of honeybees.
The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a biological research journal of the Royal Society. It revealed that thiamethoxam and clothianidin can reduce living sperm in male honeybees. Those chemicals are from the neonicotinoid family of insecticides.
Lars Straub, the lead author of the study, said for the first time they were able to show that neonicotinoid pesticides can affect the male reproductive system in a negative way.
Researchers divided the male bees into two groups. Pollen that contained the thiamethoxam and clothianidin was fed to one group, while the other was fed untainted food.
The bees' semen was extracted and tested after 38 days. That's when researchers looked at the data, which showed reduced sperm viability.
The new study adds another thing to the list of causes for Colony Collapse Disorder, which is when most of the worker bees disappear and leave the queen behind, throughout North America, Europe and other places.
There are past studies that show neonicotinoids can lowers bees' resistance to Colony Collapse Disorder. Studies have also shown that they may not be able to find their way back to the hive due to feeling disorientated.
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