Bees suffer dementia due to aluminium pollution and may be behind insect decline | Daily Mail OnlineA new scientific study has found very high amounts of aluminium contamination in bees, raising the question of whether aluminium-induced cognitive dysfunction is playing a role in the decline of bumblebee populations.Previous research had suggested that when bees forage for nectar they do not actively avoid nectar which contains aluminium. This prompted the suggestion by Exley and Goulson that bees may be accumulating aluminium within their life cycle. Researchers at University of Sussex collected pupae from colonies of naturally foraging bumblebees and sent them to Keele University where their aluminium content was determined.
Aluminium is the Earth's most ubiquitous ecotoxicant and is already known to be responsible for the death of fish in acid lakes, forest decline in acidified and nutrient impoverished catchments, and low crop productivity on acid sulphate soils. Now, a collaboration between Professors Chris Exley (Keele University) and Dave Goulson (University of Sussex) raises questions on the role of aluminium in the decline of the bumblebee.
The pupae were found to be heavily contaminated with aluminium, with individual contents ranging from between and 13 and nearly 200 ppm. Smaller pupae had significantly higher contents of aluminium.
Bees 'may be developing form of animal Alzheimer's' - TelegraphBees may be declining because they are suffering dementia compared to Alzheimer's caused by eating large amounts of aluminium.A scientific study found high amounts of aluminium contamination in bees at levels that would cause brain damage in humans.Bees rely on their tiny brains to navigate to flowers to collect pollen and nectar to eat.
Bees may be developing a kind of animal Alzheimer's disease because of exposure to aluminium in the environment, scientists have suggested.A new study has found that the young of bees already show high amounts of aluminium contamination which may be causing mental dysfunction and playing a role in the decline of bumblebee populations.Because of industrial discharge aluminium is the Earth’s most widespread pollutant and is already known to be responsible for the death of fish in acid lakes, forest decline and low crop productivity.Previous studies had suggested that when bees forage for nectar they do not actively avoid nectar which contains aluminium.