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Widespread contamination of wildflower and bee-collected pollen with complex mixtures of neonicotinoids and fungicides commonly applied to crops.

Published on Mar 1, 2016in Environment International7.94
· DOI :10.1016/j.envint.2015.12.011
Arthur David13
Estimated H-index: 13
(University of Sussex),
Cristina Botías21
Estimated H-index: 21
(University of Sussex)
+ 4 AuthorsDave Goulson61
Estimated H-index: 61
(University of Sussex)
Abstract
There is considerable and ongoing debate as to the harm inflicted on bees by exposure to agricultural pesticides. In part, the lack of consensus reflects a shortage of information on field-realistic levels of exposure. Here, we quantify concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides and fungicides in the pollen of oilseed rape, and in pollen of wildflowers growing near arable fields. We then compare this to concentrations of these pesticides found in pollen collected by honey bees and in pollen and adult bees sampled from bumble bee colonies placed on arable farms. We also compared this with levels found in bumble bee colonies placed in urban areas. Pollen of oilseed rape was heavily contaminated with a broad range of pesticides, as was the pollen of wildflowers growing nearby. Consequently, pollen collected by both bee species also contained a wide range of pesticides, notably including the fungicides carbendazim, boscalid, flusilazole, metconazole, tebuconazole and trifloxystrobin and the neonicotinoids thiamethoxam, thiacloprid and imidacloprid. In bumble bees, the fungicides carbendazim, boscalid, tebuconazole, flusilazole and metconazole were present at concentrations up to 73 nanogram/gram (ng/g). It is notable that pollen collected by bumble bees in rural areas contained high levels of the neonicotinoids thiamethoxam (mean 18 ng/g) and thiacloprid (mean 2.9 ng/g), along with a range of fungicides, some of which are known to act synergistically with neonicotinoids. Pesticide exposure of bumble bee colonies in urban areas was much lower than in rural areas. Understanding the effects of simultaneous exposure of bees to complex mixtures of pesticides remains a major challenge.
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  • References (42)
  • Citations (84)
References42
Newest
#1Thomas J. Wood (University of Sussex)H-Index: 6
#2J. M. Holland (Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust)H-Index: 24
Last.Dave Goulson (University of Sussex)H-Index: 61
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#1Christopher A. Mullin (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 25
#2Jing Chen (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 4
Last.James L. Frazier (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 5
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#1Dave Goulson (University of Sussex)H-Index: 61
#2Elizabeth Nicholls (University of Sussex)H-Index: 8
Last.Ellen L. Rotheray (University of Sussex)H-Index: 7
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#1Vincent A. Ricigliano (ARS: Agricultural Research Service)H-Index: 4
#2Brendon M. Mott (ARS: Agricultural Research Service)H-Index: 10
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#1Linda Tong (UCSD: University of California, San Diego)
#2James C. Nieh (UCSD: University of California, San Diego)H-Index: 26
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#1C. Azpiazu (UPM: Technical University of Madrid)
#2Jordi Bosch (Autonomous University of Barcelona)H-Index: 37
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#1Rafaela Tadei (UFSCar: Federal University of São Carlos)
#2Caio E. C. Domingues (UNESP: Sao Paulo State University)
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#1Kang Liu (HAU: Huazhong Agricultural University)
#2Miaomiao Cai (HAU: Huazhong Agricultural University)H-Index: 1
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