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Metal pollution kills hives


THE exhaust gas of vehicles and in particular themetal pollution, endangers the lives of bees and others pollinators. In Italy, for safeguard the welfare of bees the use of some has been banned pesticides, today, a research published in the journal Enviromental Pollution points out that they are not i pesticides the only threat to the welfare of hives but they are mainly toxic substances such as small quantities of metals.

Metals such as aluminum and nickel are deposited on the flowers and are then ingested by bees and other pollinators. Soils can be contaminated very easily by exhaust gas of vehicles, industrial machinery e agricultural equipment, so no flowery field is safe.

The pollinators have the ability to detect the presence of metals but only after having "visited a contaminated flower ", this means that the pollinators they come into contact with toxic substances even before detecting the presence of metals.

It is true, many animal models need small amounts of metal to survive, just think of the role of iron in human hemoglobin, however, the same metals can be toxic for plants and animals. The study was completed at the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Pittsburgh, where Tia-Lynn AShman, researcher and co-author of the study explains: "In addition to leading to death, metals can interfere with the perception of the insect's taste, compromise agility, memory and other fundamental functions for the life of a bumblebee ".

THE Bumblebees are hymenoptera insects of the Apiadea family, like the bees they collect nectar and pollen. They are the pollinating insects most important and useful for humans. The study published in the journal Enviromental Pollution was based on the observation of the behavior of bumblebees. The researchers used two groups of pristine flowers and one group of contaminated flowers nickel and aluminum.

The researchers observed whether the bees that reached the contaminated flowers they could detect metals and move to uncontaminated flowers. They observed the time it took the bumblebees about different flowers and other behaviors. The observations highlighted that i bumblebees they are not able to discriminate "from a distance" i contaminated flowers from the "clean" ones only after i bumblebees they have tasted the nectar of the flowers are able to discriminate the presence of nickel but not the presence of aluminum. Therefore bees ingest aluminum without noticing its presence.


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