Comparative Sublethal Toxicity of Nine Pesticides on Olfactory Learning Performances of the Honeybee Apis mellifera

Association de Coordination Technique Agricole, Maison des Agriculteurs, La Tour de Salvagny, France.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (Impact Factor: 1.9). 03/2005; 48(2):242-50. DOI: 10.1007/s00244-003-0262-7
Source: PubMed


Using a conditioned proboscis extension response (PER) assay, honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) can be trained to associate an odor stimulus with a sucrose reward. Previous studies have shown that observations of conditioned PER were of interest for assessing the behavioral effects of pesticides on the honeybee. In the present study, the effects of sublethal concentrations of nine pesticides on learning performances of worker bees subjected to the PER assay were estimated and compared. Pesticides were tested at three concentrations. The highest concentration of each pesticide corresponded to the median lethal dose value (48-h oral LD50), received per bee and per day, divided by 20. Reduced learning performances were observed for bees surviving treatment with fipronil, deltamethrin, endosulfan, and prochloraz. A lack of behavioral effects after treatment with lambda-cyalothrin, cypermethrin, tau-fluvalinate, triazamate, and dimethoate was recorded. No-observed-effect concentrations (NOECs) for the conditioned PER were derived for the studied pesticides. Our study shows that the PER assay can be used for estimating sublethal effects of pesticides on bees. Furthermore, comparisons of sensitivity as well as the estimation of NOECs, useful for regulatory purposes, are possible.

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    • "The maximum value, detected in honey bees from Barxeta apiary, was 223 ng/g, around 74% of LD50 (detailed information in the supplementary information Table S3). These concentrations are above of those considered sublethal and could be responsible of honey bee losses or even acute intoxication of forager honey bees (Decourtye et al., 2005). However, low levels can produce sublethal effects during long periods without presence of dead honey bees at the entrance of the hive. "
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    ABSTRACT: Samples of dead honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were collected periodically from 4 different locations during citrus and stone fruit trees blooming season to evaluate the potential impact of agrochemicals on honey bee death rate. For the determination of mortality, dead honey bee traps were placed in front of the experimental hives entrance located in areas of intensive agriculture in Valencian Community (Spain). A total of 34 bee samples, obtained along the monitoring period, were analyzed by means of QuEChERS extraction method and screened for 58 pesticides or their degradation products by LC-MS/MS. An average of four pesticides per honey bee sample was detected. Coumaphos, an organophosphate acaricide used against varroosis in the experimental hives, was detected in 94% of the samples. However, this acaricide was unlikely to be responsible for honey bee mortality because its constantly low concentration during all the monitoring period, even before and after acute mortality episodes. The organophosphates chlorpyrifos and dimethoate, as well as the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, were the most frequently detected agrochemicals. Almost 80% of the samples had chlorpyrifos, 68% dimethoate, and 32% imidacloprid. Maximum concentrations for these three compounds were 751, 403, 223ng/g respectively. Influence of these pesticides on acute honey bee mortality was demonstrated by comparing coincidence between death rate and concentrations of chlorpyrifos, dimethoate and imidacloprid.
    Science of The Total Environment 09/2015; 541:33-41. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.131 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    • ") versus other neonicotinoids, and can act synergistically with N. ceranae to kill honey bees in the laboratory (Vidau et al., 2011; Retschnig et al., 2014a). Taufluvalinate has an acute contact toxicity of 0.2 g μg bee −1 , but was reported to have no lethal effect at daily oral doses of 5 or 10 μg bee −1 (Decourtye et al., 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Interactions between pesticides and parasites are believed to be responsible for increased mortality of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies in the northern hemisphere. Previous efforts have employed experimental approaches using small groups under laboratory conditions to investigate influence of these stressors on honey bee physiology and behaviour, although both the colony level and field conditions play a key role for eusocial honeybees. Here, we challenged honey bee workers under in vivo colony conditions with sub-lethal doses of the neonicotinoid thiacloprid, the miticide tau-fluvalinate, and the endoparasite Nosema ceranae, to investigate potential effects on longevity and behaviour using observation hives. In contrast to previous laboratory studies our results do not suggest interactions among stressors, but rather lone effects of pesticides and the parasite on mortality and behaviour, respectively. These effects appear to be weak due to different outcomes at the two study sites, thereby suggesting that the role of thiacloprid, tau-fluvalinate, and N. ceranae and interactions among them may have been overemphasized. In the future, investigations into the effects of honey bee stressors should prioritize the use of colonies maintained under a variety of environmental conditions in order to obtain more biologically relevant data. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Environmental Microbiology 03/2015; DOI:10.1111/1462-2920.12825 · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    • "This assertion is underpinned by a number of studies that looked into the toxic impacts of various pesticides on Apis mellifera or bumble bees through dose or exposure–mortality response relationships in controlled ecotoxicological experiments (Decourtye et al. 2004; Choudhary et al. 2009; Brittain et al. 2010; Johnson et al. 2010). Apart from dose mortality responses, a number of biomarkers, including fecundity (Cresswell and Laycock 2012; Henry et al. 2012), sub-lethal markers like proboscis extension response/reflex (Decourtye et al. 2005; Han et al. 2010) or homing behaviour (Henry et al. 2012) and physiological markers (Badiou-Bénéteau et al. 2012), have also been used to study the sensitivity of honey bees to pesticide exposure in controlled experiments. However, it should be noted that: a) little is known about the sensitivities of other native Apis bees apart from A. mellifera with respect to any of the biomarkers that have been used so far; and b) there is a large information gap on the response of Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13592-014-0308-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. "
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