Evan Sugden is a honeybee expert with UW Biology. He says he hasn’t noticed any behavioral changes in honeybees due to wildfire smoke. But he notes that beekeepers traditionally use smoke to keep bees calm. Sugden says smoke tricks bees; they get confused and become less defensive. The biggest problem with the smoke is it could affect mating. Drone honeybees depend heavily on their sight (their extra-large eyes take up most of their head) and smell to locate queen bees. The biologist says the wildfire smoke might be blocking the drones’ pheromone receptors.
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