Bumblebees could be shrinking because of exposure to a widely used pesticide, experts at the University of London say.
- There's a worry smaller bees will be less effective at foraging for nectar and carrying out their vital task of distributing pollen.
- Tests which showed how a pesticide called pyrethroid stunted the growth of worker bumblebee larvae, causingthem to hatch out reduced in size.
"Our result, revealing that this pesticide causes bees to hatch out at a smaller size, is of concern as the size of workers produced in the field is likely to be a key component of colony success, with smaller bees being less efficient at collecting nectar and pollen from flowers."
Pyrethroid pesticides are commonly used on flowering crops to prevent insect damage.
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