Today’s Solutions: January 21, 2022

Pesticides known as pyrethroids are among the main culprits behind colony collapse disorder — a phenomenon that occurs when most worker bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind just the queen and a few other bees.

Detecting whether honeybees have been exposed to such types of pesticides is key to protecting these already vulnerable pollinators. But because of their nature and properties, detecting these bee-unfriendly pesticides has been rather difficult — that is, until now.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have recently developed a fully automated and environment-friendly technique to extract pyrethroids from samples of honey — making it easier than ever to detect and quantify these harmful chemicals in time to help prevent colonies from collapsing.

The novel method involves adding a small amount of alcohol to honey, which dissolves any pyrethroids that may be suspended within it. Once that’s done, a technique called solid-phase microextraction is then used to quickly and effortlessly extract the pesticides. This, in turn, allowed scientists to verify their presence and measure their concentration.

“It is our hope that this very simple method will help authorities determine where these pesticides are in use at unsafe levels to ultimately help protect the honeybee population,” said the lead study author, Prof. Janusz Pawliszyn.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

This solar panel covered building reflects Taiwan’s green energy transition

Most projects designed by the Dutch architecture firm MVRDV tend to leave a lasting impression on whoever lays their eyes on them. The company's upcoming project, Sun Rock, is no exception. Designed for Taiwan’s government-owned ... Read More

Why you shouldn’t peel all your vegetables

In her book, Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson reveals that she doesn’t own a vegetable peeler. As a result, “food prep is much faster, my compost output (peelings) is considerably reduced, and we benefit from ... Read More

This online sex shop serves people living with and beyond cancer

Being diagnosed with, receiving treatment for, and surviving cancer are all incredibly impactful experiences that affect all areas of a person’s life—including sex. Many people aren’t comfortable bringing up these two sensitive subjects in casual ... Read More

Zebrafish brains reveal new information about our memories

It seems like we're writing about fish a whole lot lately! Last week, we featured an article about goldfish learning to drive. This week, zebrafish, a species studied for their relatively long lifespans, are helping ... Read More

These sustainably powered homes can raise families out of poverty

Finding and sharing positive ways to tackle the world’s challenges is our favorite activity at The Optimist Daily, so it’s no surprise that we are especially excited about BillionBricks and Architecture Brio’s PowerHyde solar homes, ... Read More

5 reasons that secrets sour relationships & how to break the secret-keep...

According to a 2018 study, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people on average keep around 13 secrets at a time, five of which have never been revealed to anyone. It’s worth mentioning ... Read More