[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • ALS (2)
    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (3)
    • Aquaculture (23)
    • Aquatic Organisms (8)
    • Beneficials (26)
    • Biodiversity (30)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (15)
    • Biomonitoring (28)
    • Birds (4)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (21)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2)
    • Children (13)
    • Children/Schools (218)
    • Climate Change (32)
    • contamination (70)
    • Environmental Justice (111)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (98)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (8)
    • Farmworkers (118)
    • Fertilizer (2)
    • Fracking (2)
    • Fungicides (1)
    • Goats (1)
    • Golf (11)
    • Health care (32)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Household Use (1)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (56)
    • International (285)
    • Invasive Species (29)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (188)
    • Litigation (292)
    • Microbiata (3)
    • Microbiome (4)
    • Nanosilver (1)
    • Nanotechnology (53)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Pesticide Drift (127)
    • Pesticide Regulation (680)
    • Pesticide Residues (146)
    • Pets (17)
    • Preemption (14)
    • Resistance (73)
    • Rodenticide (22)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (1)
    • Take Action (404)
    • Toxic Waste (1)
    • Uncategorized (339)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (321)
    • Wood Preservatives (22)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

04
Oct

Glyphosate Linked to Bee Deaths in University of Texas Study

(Beyond Pesticides, October 4, 2018) According to new research from the University of Texas at Austin, glyphosate, the world’s most widely used agrichemical weed killer, may also be killing bees by impairing their gut microbiota, and subsequently, their immune systems.  The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, titled Glyphosate perturbs the gut microbiota of honey bees, notes these findings as evidence glyphosate could very well be contributing to the sharp decline of pollinators seen throughout the world over the past decade.

Researchers began with a single hive and collected several hundred worker bees. One group of bees was fed a sterile sugar syrup, while others were exposed to levels of glyphosate equal to what is found in conventional crop fields, lawns and highway medians. To aid tracking and recapture, bees were marked with colored dots based on their grouping. Researchers sampled 15 individuals from each group of worker bees right before and three days after reintroduction back to the hive. At both times, DNA from the insects’ guts was extracted to observe whether glyphosate had significantly altered microbial diversity within their organ system.

Results found relatively minimal impacts to bees tested prior to their reintroduction to the hive. However, bees tested three days after returning to their hive revealed significant changes in their gut make-up, trending towards lower levels of important beneficial gut bacteria when compared to unexposed bees. Of eight key species of beneficial bacteria in the exposed honey bees’ microbiome, four were found to be less abundant.  In fact, the bacteria species most directly affected, Snodgrassella alvi, is crucial for aiding the bees’ ability to both process food and defend against harmful pathogens.

Erick Motta, the graduate student who led the research, said: “We need better guidelines for glyphosate use, especially regarding bee exposure,” noting that EPA regulation guidelines “assume bees are not harmed by the herbicide,” though this study, like others, shows such an assumption of safety to be wildly ill-informed.

Indeed, such diverse bacteria are what keep immune systems resilient against illness and other types of stresses.  Regardless of their role in maintaining a functioning immune system, the chemical industry has trolled homeowners to both distrust and work swiftly to exterminate all bacteria with a panoply of toxic products.

As a result of glyphosate exposure, honey bees with weakened gut microbiomes were later more likely to die after coming in contact with the widespread pathogen, Serratia marcescens.  Noting the pathogen’s detrimental effect on honey bees, about half of unexposed honey bees with healthy immune systems were able stave off infection and stay alive eight days after contracting the pathogen.  Comparatively, only one tenth of the bees exposed to glyphosate were still alive eight days after contracting the pathogen.  Without a resilient immune system propped up by a healthy microbiome, the study finds further evidence that living organisms find it increasingly difficult to maintain health amidst our toxic-plagued urban environments and conventional agriculture.

Such a negative impact on gut microbiome is devastating for pollinators already assailed by immune-system-compromising chemicals, scarcity of diverse forage, and environmental pressures on habitat. Glyphosate, for all who are not familiar, is one of the world’s most widely and indiscriminately sprayed pesticides.  Its annual use in the U.S. has soared from 40 million pounds in the mid-1990s to around 300 million pounds used annually today.  And unsurprisingly, resistance to the pesticide continues to increase in target species due such excessive use.

This isn’t the first study to find adverse impacts from pollinator exposure to glyphosate. In 2015, a study linked glyphosate exposure to impaired learning in honey bees, with evidence that field realistic doses of the chemical cause delays in the return of foraging honey bees to the hive.

And the effect of glyphosate on gut diversity is not limited to pollinators, according to recent research. Beyond Pesticides summer 2017 Pesticides and You article, Monsanto’s Roundup (Glyphosate) Exposed explores how this herbicide may also be weakening human immune systems by disrupting our gut microbiome.

As co-author of the study, Professor Nancy Moran, Ph.D., stated to Sustainable Pulse: “Studies in humans, bees and other animals have shown that the gut microbiome is a stable community that resists infection by opportunistic invaders. So if you disrupt the normal, stable community, you are more susceptible to this invasion of pathogens.”

Important work on the human gut microbiome has be getting more public attention. The summer 2017 issue of Beyond Pesticides’ journal, Pesticides and You, contains an article on the importance of soil microbiota and human gut microbome. The lead article, Sustaining Life: From Soil Microbiota to Gut Microbiome by professor of geomorphology (University of Washington) and author David Montgomery, PhD, contains excerpts from Dr. Montgomery’s talk to Beyond Pesticides’ 35th National Pesticide Forum, documenting the importance of soil microbiota to healthy soil, resilient plants, and sustainability. (See Dr. Montgomery’s full talk.) His piece explains the essentiality of bacteria in the human gut to a healthy life, with profound implications for both agriculture and medicine. Dr. Montgomery points to a “bonafide scientific revolution” in recognizing the failure to nurture the ecosystem in nature and the human body and the associated adverse health effects resulting from pesticide use –21st century diseases, including asthma, autism, bacterial vaginosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut syndrome, multiple sclerosis, obesity, Type 1 and 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s. For more information, see Daily News.

Additional information on glyphosate can be found on Beyond Pesticides’ Pesticide Gateway entry for the chemical. For more resources on how pesticides impact pollinators, and information about what you can do visit the What the Science Shows page, and watch Beyond Pesticides’ new video Seeds that Poison.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Sustainable Pulse

 

 

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Share

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • ALS (2)
    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (3)
    • Aquaculture (23)
    • Aquatic Organisms (8)
    • Beneficials (26)
    • Biodiversity (30)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (15)
    • Biomonitoring (28)
    • Birds (4)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (21)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2)
    • Children (13)
    • Children/Schools (218)
    • Climate Change (32)
    • contamination (70)
    • Environmental Justice (111)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (98)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (8)
    • Farmworkers (118)
    • Fertilizer (2)
    • Fracking (2)
    • Fungicides (1)
    • Goats (1)
    • Golf (11)
    • Health care (32)
    • Holidays (24)
    • Household Use (1)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (56)
    • International (285)
    • Invasive Species (29)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (188)
    • Litigation (292)
    • Microbiata (3)
    • Microbiome (4)
    • Nanosilver (1)
    • Nanotechnology (53)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Pesticide Drift (127)
    • Pesticide Regulation (680)
    • Pesticide Residues (146)
    • Pets (17)
    • Preemption (14)
    • Resistance (73)
    • Rodenticide (22)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (1)
    • Take Action (404)
    • Toxic Waste (1)
    • Uncategorized (339)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (321)
    • Wood Preservatives (22)
  • Most Viewed Posts