Now if you’ve even been a victim of a bee sting or are just beephobic, because you’re witnessed someone else being stung, your first response might be – good. Something less to worry about as you cool off while sipping your favourite fizzy cold drink.
But…….. the health of bees does matter – without them, countless flowers and trees won’t be able to procreate. If plants fail to make a little whoopee – there is less for humans to eat.
So why are bees in trouble ?
The story of the disappearing bees
Theories abound, fingers have been pointed at
- cell phone towers,
- devious “pathogens” causing infections
- starvation, because of altered taste preferences and perception
And now….bad flower mojo – caused by pollution.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh have discovered, bees are not always discerning flower diners. They have a taste for caffeine, but can be oblivious to more sinister chemicals commonly found in flower nectar.
Blowing in the wind
This metallic dust eventually settles on the shrubs and falls to the ground, accumulating in soils. Particularly vulnerable to this heavy metal blast is the shrubbery that lines the roadside.
An “invisible” mantle……..
We can’t see it, neither can the bees.
The Pittsburgh team enticed bees to visit Impatiens blooms, these blooms had been laced with either nickel or aluminium. The visits of the wild bees to the flowers, was methodically documented using video recordings. Each bee visiting – got a fresh set of flowers to ensure there was no secret messages passing from one bee to another.
The researchers found, the bees had no idea that the flowers were contaminated from afar. But the nickel flowers tasted a bit unpleasant – so a mouthful of nickel, was enough to put the bee off further consumption.
Aluminium laced nectar, on the other hand…… tasted pretty much the same as the nectar from an uncontaminated flower. So bees were happy to tuck in. Consuming potentially “toxic” doses.
Heavy metals poisoning bees ?
Unwittingly ingesting large amounts of heavy metals, is unlikely to be good for bee health. Although just like us, bees do have sophisticated detox systems, these systems can succumb to excess levels of “toxins”.
For bees, the exposure to these heavy metals has the potential to interfere with the insects taste perceptions, agility and working memory. All attributes that are vital for a busy bumblebee to go about its business.
Humans have also been shown to be sensitive to heavy metal effects, when are detox systems become overwhelmed and levels of these heavy metals begin to rise.
Burning of fossil fuels is causing carbon levels to rise, creating climate change, but in addition to releasing more carbon into the atmosphere, burning fossil fuels also discharges heavy metals into our world.
Not good for bees, fish or you.
SAVE our bees – do your bit to conserve energy and burn less fossil fuel.
|Could air pollution be making you fat ?||If you want to stop brain rust – install a red robot||Clean up your water glass with a sprig of cilantro|
Our health and that of the planet are interconnected.
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