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Effects of sublethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation

This open-field study assessed the short-term effects of the herbicide glyphosate on the homeward flight path of honey bees.  Researchers found that a single glyphosate exposure, representative of contamination levels expected in agricultural settings, led to a delay in the return of foraging honey bees to the hive. Researchers also documented that while untreated bees improved their homing flights during their second release, the honey bees treated with the highest exposure level (0.50 ug/bee or 10 mg l-1) showed a clear impairment of navigation performance improvement.

The researchers felt that their findings demonstrate that both single exposures and repeated exposures to glyphosate have a detrimental effect on the retrieval and formation of memory.

Authors: 
Balbuena, M.S., L. Tison, M.-L. Hahn, U. Greggers, R. Menzel, and W.M. Farina
Journal: 
Journal of Experimental Biology
Year published: 
2015
DOI: 
10.1242/jeb.117291