Nerve agent in honey

  • Christopher Connolly

    Press/Media: Research


    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, Mitchell et 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.

    Period5 Oct 2017

    Media coverage


    Media coverage

    • TitleBad news for bees: three-quarters of all honey on Earth has pesticides in it
      Degree of recognitionInternational
      Media name/outletThe Verge
      Media typeWeb
      Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
      DescriptionAbout three quarters of all honey worldwide is contaminated with pesticides known to harm bees, according to a new study. Though the pesticide levels were below the limit deemed safe for human consumption, there was still enough insecticide in there to harm pollinators. The finding suggests that, as one of the study authors said, “there’s almost no safe place for a bee to exist.”
      PersonsChristopher Connolly