Nerve agents in honey

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Abstract

There is widespread concern over the global loss of biodiversity. The decline in bee abundances is particularly alarming given their role in pollination; bee losses are a major threat to human food security and ecosystem stability. These losses are associated with intensive land use, which exposes bees to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids. The latter may harm bees directly and/or exacerbate threats from other chemicals, imported parasites and diseases (1), or habitat loss. On page 109 of this issue, Mitchellet al.(2) show that most honeys sampled from around the world between 2012 and 2016 contain neonicotinoids at levels known to be neuroactive in bees. The work highlights the global nature of this threat to bees.

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