Universities in the south of England conducted a recent study suggesting that bees may be on the decline due to dementia triggered by aluminium contamination. Bees rely heavily on their brains to flit around the flowers.
UK Keele University and University of Sussex found aluminium contamination in the pupae of bumblebee at heightened levels that could cause brain damage in humans.
The journal Public Library of Science One published a study wherein bees were discovered to not avoid flowers contaminated with aluminium when they forage for nectar.
Scientists found that the pupae hold levels from 13 to 200 parts per million (ppm) wherein just 3 ppm is “considered as potentially pathological in human brain tissue.”
University of Sussex researchers on the south coast of England gathered from bee colony pupae and sent them over to Keele to be assessed for aluminium content.
The recent noteworthy decline in the number of bees is blamed on pesticide residues, but this study points to aluminium as a contributing factor to the decline.
“Aluminium is a known neurotoxin affecting behavior in animal models of aluminium intoxication,” said Professor Chris Exley of Keele University. “Are we looking at bees with Alzheimer’s disease?”