Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production

@article{Whitehorn2012NeonicotinoidPR,
  title={Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production},
  author={Penelope R. Whitehorn and Stephanie O’Connor and Felix L. Wackers and Dave Goulson},
  journal={Science},
  year={2012},
  volume={336},
  pages={351 - 352}
}
Bad News for Bees Neonicotinoid insecticides were introduced in the early 1990s and have become one of the most widely used crop pesticides in the world. These compounds act on the insect central nervous system, and they have been shown to be persistent in the environment and in plant tissues. Recently, there have been controversial connections made between neonicotinoids and pollinator deaths, but the mechanisms underlying these potential deaths have remained unknown. Whitehorn et al. (p. 351… 

The Neonicotinoid Insecticide Thiacloprid Impacts upon Bumblebee Colony Development under Field Conditions.

TLDR
Overall, exposed bumblebee colonies were more likely to die prematurely, and those that survived reached a lower final weight and produced 46% fewer reproductives than colonies placed at control farms.

Impact of Chronic Neonicotinoid Exposure on Honeybee Colony Performance and Queen Supersedure

TLDR
Sublethal neonicotinoid exposure did not provoke increased winter losses, yet significant detrimental short and long-term impacts on colony performance and queen fate suggest that neonicsotinoids may contribute to colony weakening in a complex manner.

Bumblebee colony development following chronic exposure to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid pesticide thiamethoxam under laboratory conditions

TLDR
Assessing bumblebee colony development under field conditions is likely more informative for real world scenarios than tests conducted in laboratory conditions, and may suggest that impacts on bumblebees are more pronounced for colonies at an earlier stage in the reproductive cycle.

Increased Acetylcholinesterase Expression in Bumble Bees During Neonicotinoid-Coated Corn Sowing

TLDR
This is the first study to report in situ that bumble bees living in agricultural areas exhibit signs of neonicotinoid intoxication, and suggests that exposure to neonicsotinoid seed coating particles during the planting season can alter bumble bee neuronal activity.

Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumblebees

TLDR
The findings show that pesticide exposure can impair the ability of bees to provide pollination services, with important implications for both the sustained delivery of stable crop yields and the functioning of natural ecosystems.

Neonicotinoid Residues in Wildflowers, a Potential Route of Chronic Exposure for Bees.

TLDR
It is shown that exposure to neonicotinoids is likely to be higher and more prolonged than currently recognized because of widespread contamination of wild plants growing near treated crops.

Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees

TLDR
Findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure, and negatively affect pollinator health under realistic agricultural conditions.

Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

TLDR
This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

Field realistic doses of pesticide imidacloprid reduce bumblebee pollen foraging efficiency

TLDR
It is demonstrated that field-realistic doses of these pesticides substantially impacts on foraging ability of bumblebee workers when collecting pollen, and it is suggested that this provides a causal mechanism behind reduced queen production in imidacloprid exposed colonies.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 40 REFERENCES

Effects of Novel Pesticides on Bumble Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colony Health and Foraging Ability

TLDR
Use of an artificial flower foraging array proved to be a sensitive method for detecting sublethal response of bees to pesticides, suggesting that bumble bee colonies will not be harmed by proper use of these pesticides.

Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields

TLDR
The results demonstrate that bees are exposed to neonicotinoid compounds and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period, and clarify some of the mechanisms by which honey bees may be exposed to agricultural pesticides throughout the growing season.

Hazards of Insecticides to the Bumble Bees Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging on Flowering White Clover in Turf

TLDR
Exposure to dry nonirrigated residues of all of the aforementioned insecticides had severe impact on colony vitality, while foraging activity of wild bumble bees was monitored on open plots to determine if insecticide-treated areas were avoided.

A meta-analysis of experiments testing the effects of a neonicotinoid insecticide (imidacloprid) on honey bees

TLDR
Findings raise renewed concern about the impact on honey bees of dietary imidacloprid, but because questions remain over the environmental relevance of predominantly laboratory-based results, targets for research are identified and procedural recommendations for future studies are provided.

Hazards of Imidacloprid Seed Coating to Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) When Applied to Sunflower

TLDR
It was concluded that applying imidacloprid at the registered dose, as a seed coating of sunflowers cultivated in greenhouse or in field, did not significantly affect the foraging and homing behavior of B. terrestris and its colony development.

Correlates of reproductive success among field colonies of Bombus lucorum: the importance of growth and parasites

TLDR
Investigation of how the presence of parasites in field populations of the bumble bee Bombus lucorum L. relates to variation in life history traits and reproductive performance provides a heuristic approach to understand the factors that affect reproductive success of Bombus colonies.

Risk posed to honeybees (Apis mellifera L, Hymenoptera) by an imidacloprid seed dressing of sunflowers.

In a greenhouse metabolism study, sunflowers were seed-treated with radiolabelled imidacloprid in a 700 g kg-1 WS formulation (Gaucho WS 70) at 0.7 mg AI per seed, and the nature of the resulting

Sub‐lethal effects of imidacloprid on bumblebees, Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae), during a laboratory feeding test

TLDR
It was concluded that the survival rate and reproductive capacity of B terrestris was not likely to be affected by prolonged ingestion of nectar produced by sunflower after seed-dressing treatment with imidacloprid (Gaucho), since honey or pollen collected by honeybees foraging treated sunflower never revealed concentrations of imidcloprid higher than 10 µg kg−1.

Quantification of imidacloprid uptake in maize crops.

TLDR
The PEC/PNEC risk ratios were determined and ranged between 500 and 600 for honeybees foraging on maize treated with imidacloprid by seed dressing, a high risk factor that can be related to one of the main causes of honeybee colony losses.

An interspecific comparison of foraging range and nest density of four bumblebee (Bombus) species

TLDR
Estimates of foraging range and nest density among four British bumblebee species suggest that significant differences in fundamental aspects of their ecology exist, a finding that should be reflected in management and conservation strategies.