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Saving Honey Bees from Pesticide Death.

Consider this: a grain of salt weighs 58,500 nanograms. It takes only 15 nanograms of pesticide to kill a honey bee. Over time, pollen tinged with tiny amounts of pesticides accumulates in a bee's body, reducing the lifespan of each bee in a colony, but researchers at Washington State University, Pullman, have developed a material that "acts as a magnetic microsponge that absorbs ingested toxic residues," says Waled Suliman, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.

The product, a powder, can be incorporated into a sugar solution that is fed to bee colonies. Each micro-particle is the size and shape of a grain of pollen, making them easily digestible--and they are designed and formulated to be safe for beekeepers to handle.

When consumed by the bees, the particles attract and absorb pesticide toxins. Then they pass through the bees like any other food. Each particle only spends a few hours in the digestive system, which is enough to reduce pesticide residues significantly.

In fact, each particle of Suliman's technology can remove about 300 nanograms of pesticide residue--much more than bees can survive.

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Title Annotation:TOXINS; microparticles that absorb ingested toxic residues
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jun 1, 2018
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