Bumblebees exposed to the "safe" Chernobyl dose of radiation reproduce worse

In their study, the scientists sought to find out how ionizing radiation affects those insects that

often considered more resistant than other species.

Experts from Scotland and Germany exposedbee colonies in the laboratory were exposed to various levels of radiation found in the exclusion zones near Chernobyl, where a nuclear reactor exploded in 1986.

The scientists found that colony reproduction was reduced by 30–45% at doses previously considered too low to affect insects.

“We found out that the growth of colonies was delayed at the radiation levels found in Chernobyl. They reached their peak weight within a week, ”explains lead author Catherine Raines.

The authors stated that they chose bumblebees for two reasons. Firstly, due to the lack of laboratory studies of bees, and secondly, because of their decisive role in pollination.

“Our research shows that insects,those living in the most contaminated areas of Chernobyl may suffer from adverse outcomes with consequent consequences for ecosystem services such as pollination, ”added Raines.

The study authors stated that if theirthe results can be generalized, "they suggest that insects suffer significant adverse effects at doses previously considered safe." That is why the team of experts has called for a revision of international standards for radiological environmental protection.

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