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Neonicotinoid insecticide causes bees to abandon their young at night: study

Spying on bumblebees as they nest has revealed strange behaviour in those exposed to tiny amounts of a widely used pesticide.

A study published in the journal Science found bees exposed to an insecticide called imidacloprid were less likely to feed and care for their larvae, and spent more time hanging out around the edges of the nest.

According to study lead author and Harvard University biologist James Crall, the most surprising and puzzling finding was that the effect on bee behaviour was strongest at night.

"If you look overnight, it's totally striking," Dr Crall said.

"Oftentimes the majority or all of a colony [affected by imidaclorprid] will be immobile — which you never see in healthy colonies.


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(ABC NEWS: 09/11/18)