Monday, September 24, 2018

Glyphosate Danger to Honey Bees & Bumble Bees

Glyphosate Perturbs the Gut Microbiota of Honey Bees & Mumble Bees.
Increased mortality of honey bee colonies has been attributed to several factors but is not fully understood.  The herbicide glyphosate is expected to be innocuous to animals, including bees because it targets an enzyme only found in plants and microorganisms.  Glyphosate is potentially affecting bee health and their effectiveness as pollinators.

However, bees rely on a specialized gut microbiota that benefits growth and provides defense against pathogens.  Most bee gut bacteria contain the enzyme targeted by glyphosate but vary in whether they possess susceptible versions and, correspondingly, intolerance to glyphosate.

Exposing bees to glyphosate alters the bee gut community and increases susceptibility to infection by opportunistic pathogens.  Understanding how glyphosate impacts bee gut symbionts and bee health will help elucidate a possible role of this chemical in colony decline.

Glyphosate may affect bacterial symbionts of animals living near agricultural sites, including pollinators such as bees.  The honey bee gut microbiota is dominated by eight bacterial species that promote weight gain and reduce pathogen susceptibility.  The gene encoding EPSPS is present in almost all sequenced genomes of bee gut bacteria, indicating that they are potentially susceptible to glyphosate. 

"We demonstrated that the relative and absolute abundances of dominant gut microbiota species are decreased in bees exposed to glyphosate at concentrations documented in the environment."

Read more in this new research study about the effects of glyphosate exposure:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.