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Source: Photografiero/istock

Probiotics May Be Key To Saving Bees Exposed To Pesticides

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It's a concerning truth: the world's honeybee population is in trouble. The mysterious problem known as "colony collapse disorder," in which a majority of worker bees suddenly abandon their hives or die before they can return to them, has many in agriculture and food production deeply concerned. Rightfully so, since honeybees are a vital part of not only the natural world, but of the human food-production process. For example, it is estimated that bees pollinate around 35 percent of the global food crop. 

In 2014, it was discovered that a certain class of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, used in the very fields that the honeybees help to pollinate, were largely to blame for colony collapse disorder. According to researchers from Harvard University, neonicotinoids appeared to cause "impairment of honey bee neurological functions, specifically memory, cognition, or behavior," which led to worker bees becoming confused or lost, thus unable to return to their hives. These findings prompted many changes in pesticide use, even paving the way for a ban on neonicotinoids in several U.S. cities and the entire state of Maryland

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