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Diesel fumes change flower odours that bees need

Diesel fumes change flower odours that bees need
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Air pollution from diesel vehicles may be reducing the availability of almost half the most common flower odours that bees use to find their food,...

London: Air pollution from diesel vehicles may be reducing the availability of almost half the most common flower odours that bees use to find their food, says a new study.

The findings suggest that toxic nitrous oxide (NOx) in diesel exhausts could be having an even greater effect on bees’ ability to smell out flowers than was previously thought.

Of the eleven most common single compounds in floral odours, five can be chemically altered by exposure to NOx gases from exhaust fumes, the findings showed.

"This work highlights that pollution from dirty vehicles is not only dangerous to people’s health, but could also have an impact on our natural environment and the economy,” said study lead author Robbie Girling from the University of Reading in England.

"We do not think that air pollution from diesel vehicles is the main reason for this decline, but our latest work suggests that it may have a worse effect on the flower odours needed by bees than we initially thought,” Girling noted.

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