Scottish to explore the causes of decline of insect pollinators

Scottish scientists will fit bees with radio ID tags to monitor their movements to know the cause of decline in their number.

The number of bees, which are very important in the food chain as crop pollinators, has dropped by around 15 per cent over the two-year period ended April 2009.

Scientists have already warned that the decline in the number of bees could affect food production adversely.

The £1.8 million study will examine if pesticides are damaging bees' brains, harming their ability to navigate and gather food.

Commenting on the topic, research team's head Dr. Chris Connolly said, "Many insecticides work by interfering with information flow in the brains of insects - either increasing or decreasing their brain activity."

Scientists will also look for the causes of decline in the population of butterflies and moths as they are also vital for the pollination crops.

A total of nine projects worth up to £10 million have been announced by the Insect Pollinators Initiative to explore the causes and consequences of decline in insect pollinators' population.