The dose makes the poison: have “field realistic” rates of exposure of bees to neonicotinoid insecticides been overestimated in laboratory studies?

  title={The dose makes the poison: have “field realistic” rates of exposure of bees to neonicotinoid insecticides been overestimated in laboratory studies?},
  author={Norman L. Carreck and Francis L. W. Ratnieks},
  journal={Journal of Apicultural Research},
  pages={607 - 614}
Summary Recent laboratory based studies have demonstrated adverse sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bees and bumble bees, and these studies have been influential in leading to a European Union moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoids, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam on “bee attractive” crops. Yet so far, these same effects have not been observed in field studies. Here we review the three key dosage factors (concentration, duration and choice) relevant… 

The environmental risks of neonicotinoid pesticides: a review of the evidence post 2013

  • T. WoodD. Goulson
  • Environmental Science
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • 2017
A growing body of evidence demonstrates that persistent, low levels of neonicotinoids can have negative impacts on a wide range of free-living organisms.

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The challenges and merits of alternative experimental designs are discussed in relation to practical considerations and policy making.

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The results underscore the importance to test pesticide combinations likely to occur in agricultural environments, and to include several bee species in environmental risk assessment schemes, after a new approach based on the binomial proportion test to analyse synergistic interactions.

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It is concluded that declines of wild pollinators and of honeybees are not likely caused by neonicotinoids, and it is not possible on such short term to evaluate the effects of the 2013 EU ban.

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Chronic oral exposure to field-realistic pesticide combinations via pollen and nectar: effects on feeding and thermal performance in a solitary bee

The incorporation of tests specifically intended to detect sublethal effects in bee risk assessment schemes should be an urgent priority, so that the effects of pesticide exposure on the dynamics of bee populations in agroecosystems will be better assessed.

Detailed Review on Pesticidal Toxicity to Honey Bees and Its Management

This chapter deals with the effects of different pesticides used in agro-ecosys-tem on honey bees and other pollinators and probable measures to manage this escalating problem of global decline of



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The proposed risk assessment scheme for systemic compounds was shown to be applicable to assess the risk for side-effects of neonicotinoids as it considers the effect on different life stages and different levels of biological organization (organism versus colony).

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

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