Neonicotinoid insecticides severely affect honey bee queens

Williams, Geoffrey Rhys; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar Samuel; Yanez Amayo, Victor Orlando; Shutler, Dave; Neumann, Peter; Gauthier, Laurent (2015). Neonicotinoid insecticides severely affect honey bee queens. Scientific Reports, 5, p. 14621. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/srep14621

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Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera). In pesticide-exposed queens, reproductive anatomy (ovaries) and physiology (spermathecal-stored sperm quality and quantity), rather than flight behaviour, were compromised and likely corresponded to reduced queen success (alive and producing worker offspring). This study highlights the detriments of neonicotinoids to queens of environmentally and economically important social bees, and further strengthens the need for stringent risk assessments
to safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services that are vulnerable to these substances.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

UniBE Contributor:

Williams, Geoffrey Rhys; Troxler, Aline; Retschnig, Gina; Roth, Kaspar Samuel; Yanez Amayo, Victor Orlando and Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

2045-2322

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Language:

English

Submitter:

Geoffrey Rhys Williams

Date Deposited:

10 May 2016 16:04

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2021 20:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/srep14621

PubMed ID:

26459072

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.82099

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/82099

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