Exhaust Fumes Affecting Honeybees

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,955
    Scientists find that diesel exhaust fumes change the molecular structure of foral aromas that the honeybees use to recognize and locate potential food sources.

    In an attempt to understand the worldwide decline of honeybees, researchers from the University of Southampton found that diesel exhaust fumes change the chemical profile of floral aromamolecules which affect the honeybees’ ability to locate, identify and recognize a potential food source.  In their study, they found that the nitric oxide and nitric dioxide components in exhaust were responsible for the molecularchange. When these gases were present, the bees in the study were unable tolocate flowers. Honeybees have a sensitive sense of smell and rely on learning and memorizing new odors, but diesel exhaust pollution keeps them from doing that.  Researchers said that policy makers should work to improve air quality to save the honeybees.