Neonicotinoid insecticides translocated in guttated droplets of seed-treated maize and wheat: a threat to honeybees?
In recent years, neonicotinoids have been the fastest-growing class of insecticides in modern crop protection, with widespread use against a broad spectrum of sucking and certain chewing pests. As potent agonists, they act selectively on insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, their molecular target site. The discovery of neonicotinoids can be considered as a milestone in insecticide research and facilitates greatly the understanding of the functional properties of insect nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Because of the relatively low risk for non-target organisms and environment, the high target specificity of neonicotinoid insecticides and their versatility in application methods, this important class has to be maintained globally for integrated pest management strategies and insect resistance management programmes. This review comprehensively describes particularly the origin, structure and bonding as well as associated properties of neonicotinoid insecticides.