Honeybees rely on their incredible sense of smell and ability to learn and memorise floral odours. Essentially their sense of smell is the homing device they use to find floral food.
Research published today in Scientific Reports warns that air pollution from diesel fumes can affect that delicate sense. London has some of the worst air pollution levels in Europe. Honeybees use the whole range of chemicals found in a floral blend to discriminate between different blends, and the results suggest that some chemicals in a blend may be more important than others.
Chemicals like Nitric Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide produced by diesel engines are believed to have the biggest impact. 78% of London's roads have nitrogen dioxide levels above European accepted levels.