Volkswagen fraudulent emissions damage honeybees

This video says about itself:

Diesel Exhaust Shown to Prevent Bees From Smelling Flowers

7 October 2013

Pollinators like honeybees are attracted to the sweet scent of flowers, which entices them to land and drink the nectar. A new study from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom shows that chemicals emitted from diesel fuel exhaust might be causing the bees to not recognize the scented chemicals that are given off by flowers.

When researchers mixed the diesel exhaust fumes with the flower smell chemicals, they found that two of the odors were gone after they reacted with mono-nitrogen oxide from the diesel exhaust.

Doctor Tracey Newman from the University of Southampton who worked on the study said: “Bees need to decipher the chemical messages they’re getting from flowers to be able to home in on the flowers they know will give the best yield of nectar.”

The researchers also did an experiment where they gave the bees a drop of sugary liquid so they would associate that with the smell of a certain chemical and stick out their tongue to drink the sugar water.

After the smell had been mixed with the mono-nitrogen oxide, the bees did not react by sticking their tongue out.

From Science News:

Bees take longer to learn floral odors polluted by vehicle fumes

Roadside pollution interferes with basics of foraging for nectar

By Susan Milius

1:17pm, October 7, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — Here’s another reason not to love car exhaust: The fumes may make it harder for honeybees to learn floral scents.

In lab tests, bees normally caught on quickly that a puff of floral scent meant a researcher would soon offer them a taste of sugar, Ryan James Leonard of the University of Sydney said September 30 at the International Congress of Entomology. After two sequences of puff-then-sugar, just a whiff of fragrance typically made the bees stick out their tongues. But when that floral scent was mixed with vehicle exhaust, it took the bees several more run-throughs to respond to the puff signal.

Honeybees buzzing among roadside flowers must contend with vehicle pollution as they learn various foraging cues. Another lab reported in 2013 that diesel exhaust reacted with some of the chemical components of canola flowers, rendering them more difficult for bees to recognize.

Building on that concern, Leonard and colleagues found that it was easy for bees to learn the scent of linalool, a widespread ingredient in many flower fragrances, whether mixed with exhaust fumes or not. But exhaust made it take longer than two trials for bees to learn the scent ingredients myrcene (three trials), dipentene (four) and the full, multicomponent fragrance of geraniums (six).

Road ecologists have put a lot of effort into studying how vehicles kill animals. But Leonard hopes for more interest now in how chronic exposure to traffic affects living animals.

Bees join an exclusive crew of animals that get the concept of zero Honeybees can pass a test of ranking ‘nothing’ as less than one. By Susan Milius, 4:58pm, June 7, 2018.

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