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Insecticide Causes Changes in Honeybee Genes, Research Finds

Insecticide Causes Changes in Honeybee Genes, Research Finds

ScienceDaily (July 2, 2013) — New research by academics at The University of Nottingham has shown that exposure to a neonicotinoid insecticide causes changes to the genes of the honeybee.

The study, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, supports the recent decision taken by the European Commission to temporarily ban three neonicotinoids amid concerns that they could be linked to bee deaths.

There is growing evidence connecting the decline in the honeybee population that pollinates one-third of the food that we eat, and insecticides, but this is the first comprehensive study to look at changes in the activity of honeybee genes linked to one of the recently banned neonicotinoids, imidacloprid.

The study, led by Dr Reinhard Stöger, Associate Professor in Epigenetics in the University's School of Biosciences, was conducted under field realistic conditions and showed that a very low exposure of just two parts per billion has an impact on the activity of some of the honeybee genes....

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