Honeybees are accumulating airborne microplastics on their bodies
Scientists discover a new way to monitor airborne plastic particles. But do they harm bees?
As honeybees make their way through the world, they are ideally suited to pick up bits and pieces of it along the way. Bees are covered with hairs that have evolved to hold tiny particles that the bee collects intentionally or simply encounters in its daily travels. These hairs become electrostatically charged in flight, which helps attract the particles. Pollen is the most obvious substance that gets caught up in these hairs, but so do plant debris, wax, and even bits of other bees.
Now, another material has been added to that list: plastics. Specifically, 13 different synthetic polymers, according to a study of honeybees and microplastics in Denmark. The study was published earlier this year in Science of