Pollen-borne fungicides mediate important bee-microbe symbioses
What is it about?
Fungicide residues in pollen appear to alter the microbial communities of fermenting pollen-provisions. This has been associated with increased mortality in larval bumble bees. Thus, it appears that by shuffling the microbial communities of fermenting 'beebread,' fungicides may indirectly harm larval bees.
Why is it important?
Bees are critical pollinators of flowering crops. Fungicides are thought to be 'bee safe' and are sprayed on flowering crops globally. If fungicide residues in pollen are bad for bees, especially solitary bees (non-social bee species), this may explain the persistent declines in both managed and wild bee populations.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Shawn A. Steffan