Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer, has caused concerns over its potential risk to human health and the environment for decades. Now, new research shows that glyphosate may be indirectly killing bees.
Brand-new research from the University of Texas at Austin shows that glyphosate is hazardous for bees.
For this study, scientists exposed honeybees to glyphosate at levels known to occur in crop fields, yards and roadsides. The researchers painted the bees’ backs with colored dots so they could be tracked and later recaptured. Three days later, they observed that the honeybees exposed to glyphosate lost some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts and were more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.
Their conclusion is that by altering a bee’s gut microbiome — the ecosystem of bacteria living in the bee’s digestive tract, including those that protect it from harmful bacteria — glyphosate compromises its ability to fight infection.
And that, scientists believe, is evidence that glyphosate might be contributing to the decline of honeybees and native bees around the world.
Source: Deutsche Welle