Research conducted at the University of Southampton has shown that honeybees exposed to diesel exhaust show a decreased ability to recognise floral odours.
These odours are used by honeybees in their identification of flowers. The research highlighted NOx gases as a key facilitator in changing the odours profile.
Honeybees have the ability to largely improve crop yields. So if the honeybees ability to forage is impaired there will be serious knock on effects to crop yield and resultantly the economy.
Dr Newman a neuroscientist at Southampton commented ‘Our results suggest that diesel exhaust pollution alters the components of a synthetic floral odour blend, which affects the honeybee’s recognition of the odour. This could have serious detrimental effects on the number of honeybee colonies and pollination activity.’