"Study: Honeybees Can't Smell Flowers Well Amid Pollution"

"When it comes to zeroing in on nectar-rich flowers, worker honeybees rely heavily on their expert sense of smell. But new research suggests pollution from diesel exhaust may fool the honeybee's 'nose,' making their search for staple flowers all the more difficult."

"In a paper published recently in Scientific Reports, English scientists concluded that two components of diesel exhaust - nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide - could alter the odor of the many chemicals that combine to give a flower its signature smell.

This phenomenon, researchers said, could either hinder or prevent honeybees from reaching their target flowers, and, in the process, inhibit the pollination of the world's principal food crops."

Monte Morin reports for the Los Angeles Times October 5, 2013.

Source: LA Times, 10/07/2013