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Non-cultivated plants present a season-long route of pesticide exposure for honey bees

Published on Sep 1, 2016in Nature Communications11.878
· DOI :10.1038/ncomms11629
Elizabeth Y. Long10
Estimated H-index: 10
(OSU: Ohio State University),
Christian H. Krupke21
Estimated H-index: 21
(Purdue University)
Sources
Abstract
Recent efforts to evaluate the contribution of neonicotinoid insecticides to worldwide pollinator declines have focused on honey bees and the chronic levels of exposure experienced when foraging on crops grown from neonicotinoid-treated seeds. However, few studies address non-crop plants as a potential route of pollinator exposure to neonicotinoid and other insecticides. Here we show that pollen collected by honey bee foragers in maize- and soybean-dominated landscapes is contaminated throughout the growing season with multiple agricultural pesticides, including the neonicotinoids used as seed treatments. Notably, however, the highest levels of contamination in pollen are pyrethroid insecticides targeting mosquitoes and other nuisance pests. Furthermore, pollen from crop plants represents only a tiny fraction of the total diversity of pollen resources used by honey bees in these landscapes, with the principle sources of pollen originating from non-cultivated plants. These findings provide fundamental information about the foraging habits of honey bees in these landscapes.
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  • Citations (72)
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References54
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#1Victor Limay-Rios (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 7
#2Luis Gabriel Forero (U of G: University of Guelph)H-Index: 3
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Using neonicotinoid insecticides as seed treatments is a common practice in field crop production. Exposure of nontarget organisms to neonicotinoids present in various environmental matrices is debated. In the present study, concentrations of neonicotinoid residues were measured in the top 5 cm of soil and overlying soil surface dust before planting in 25 commercial fields with a history of neonicotinoid seed treatment use in southwestern Ontario in 2013 and 2014 using liquid chromatography-elec...
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#1H. Charles J. Godfray (University of Oxford)H-Index: 55
#2Tjeerd Blacquière (WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)H-Index: 16
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A summary is provided of recent advances in the natural science evidence base concerning the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators in a format (a ‘restatement') intended to be accessible to informed but not expert policymakers and stakeholders. Important new studies have been published since our recent review of this field (Godfray et al. 2014 Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20140558. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0558)) and the subject continues to be an area of very active research and hig...
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Abstract In agricultural landscapes, field margins are potential habitats for moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera). However, because of their proximity to agricultural sites, field margins can be affected by inputs of pesticides and fertilizers. In the present study, we assessed the use of field margins by caterpillars as habitat. Furthermore, the effects of realistic field margin input rates of various agrochemicals on moths, especially on their caterpillar stages, were studied in field, semi-fi...
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#1Christian H. Krupke (Purdue University)H-Index: 21
#2Elizabeth Y. Long (Purdue University)H-Index: 10
A growing understanding of the often subtle unintended impacts of neonicotinoid seed treatments on both non-target organisms and their environment have led to concerns about the suitability of current pest management approaches in large scale agriculture. Several neonicotinoid compounds are used in seed treatments of the most widely grown grain and oilseed crops worldwide. Most applications are made prophylactically and without prior knowledge of pest populations. A growing body of evidence sugg...
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Thirty-two honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies were studied in order to detect and measure potential in vivo effects of neonicotinoid pesticides used in cornfields (Zea mays spp) on honeybee health. Honeybee colonies were randomly split on four different agricultural cornfield areas located near Quebec City, Canada. Two locations contained cornfields treated with a seed-coated systemic neonicotinoid insecticide while the two others were organic cornfields used as control treatments. Hives were ex...
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It has been suggested that the negative effects on bees of neonicotinoid pesticides could be averted in field conditions if they chose not to forage on treated nectar; here field-level neonicotinoid doses are used in laboratory experiments to show that honeybees and bumblebees do not avoid neonicotinoid-treated food and instead actually prefer it.
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Two studies provide evidence that bees cannot taste or avoid neonicotinoid pesticides, and that exposure to treated crops affects reproduction in solitary bees as well as bumblebee colony growth and reproduction. See Letters p.74 & p.77
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Neonicotinoid seed coating is associated with reduced density of wild bees, as well as reduced nesting of solitary bees and reduced colony growth and reproduction of bumblebees, but appears not to affect honeybees.
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