Common pesticide makes honeybees get lost and reduces bumblebee hive weight, new studies say

A common class of pesticide is causing problems for honeybees and bumblebees, important species already in trouble, two studies suggest.

But the findings don’t explain all the reasons behind a long-running bee decline, and other experts found one of the studies less than convincing.

The new research suggests the chemicals used in the pesticide — designed to attack the central nervous system of insects — reduces the weight and number of queens in bumblebee hives. These pesticides also cause honeybees to become disoriented and fail to return to their hives, the researchers concluded.

But environmental activists and some beekeepers are convinced the pesticide is a problem.

“The simple fact is, we know enough to take decisive action on this class of pesticides which covers well over 143 million acres of U.S. countryside,” said Heather Pilatic, co-director of the Pesticide Action Network North America.

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