EINNEWS, November 12—The collapse of honeybee populations has had many in agriculture and farm research on edge for years because the tiny bee’s pollination activity is so important to the cultivation of so many of the world’s food crops.

Now British researchers believe they are onto one of the causes for disappearance of the honeybee: pesticides.

With a $2.3 million grant, scientists from three U.K. universities have launched a study into whether continuous exposure to a range of pesticides is interfering with the brains and nervous systems of bees and other pollinators.

The idea is that the toxicity of pesticides blocks electrical signals into the bee’s nervous system, making it harder for bees to communicate with one another, and to navigate to food sources and then home again.

The new study is part of a larger program that involves scientists from many fields. It’s funded by both the U.K. and Scottish governments and environmental groups.

Earlier this year a team of U.S. researchers announced they had identified a virus that believed was responsible for the decline of honey bee populations. But neither this possible solution or others have yet to be fully confirmed.

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