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honey bee on Spiraea

honey bee on Spiraea

In a study on pesticide exposure routes in honey bees, researchers used chemical analysis of pollen and the keen eye of a palynologist—an expert in identifying pollen microscopically—to track pesticide in bee-collected pollen to a source plant genus. A sample with a particularly high level of pesticide traces in the study was identified as coming from plants in the genus Spiraea (shown here). The researchers were able to confirm that the staff of the plant nursery where the test hives were located had applied pesticide to Spiraea just before and during the pollen-sampling period. (Photo credit: Alejandro Chiriboga)

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