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Asian Journal of Agriculture and Allied Sciences ACUTE TOXICITY OF SOME TOXINS AND AIR POLLUTANTS ON HONEY BEE, Apis mellifera L

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Abstract

Honey bees are social insects produce honey and other hive products like propolis, royal jelly, bee venom and bee wax. Besides, their significance as the valued pollinators of many vegetable and horticultural crops they also play a crucial role in preservation of natural biodiversity. Many (diseases, parasites, insects) and environmental stress have an impact on the longevity and efficiency of honey bees. Gasses, heavy metals and air pollutants, in addition to inorganic compounds, have been linked to increased queen replacement and winter mortality in honey bees, as well as reduced brood survival and interference with cellular metabolism. Furthermore, natural poisons in food including toxic polysaccharides, phenolics, cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids can impair colony performance, influence energy production via mitochondrial ATP synthase inhibition and result in acute mortality. In addition, adult bees ingesting acaricides such as formic acid and oxalic acid may die midgut cells, reducing bee activity, nursing behavior and longevity. Furthermore, biosphere pollution caused by irresponsible pesticide usage causing several issues to honey bee species, the most prominent of which is Apis mellifera L. Although no one chemical has been linked to colony collapse disorder, it is possible that it contributes to decreased honey bee health. Well understanding of pesticide mode of action in targeted pests and honey bees has resulted in a viable technique to prevent pesticide side effects on honey bees. As a result, the purpose of this review is to look into the toxicity of some pesticides used on crops, acaricides used in honey bee colonies and natural plant toxins. Understanding the role of these compounds and their side effects on honey bees is undoubtedly important in preventing colony collapse.
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*Corresponding author: Email: mrmustafa88@yahoo.in;
Mini-review Article
Asian Journal of Agriculture and Allied Sciences
5(1): 20-25, 2022
ACUTE TOXICITY OF SOME TOXINS AND AIR
POLLUTANTS ON HONEY BEE, Apis mellifera L
MOHAMMED M. IBRAHIM a* AND YENDREMBAM K. DEVI b
a Department of Plant Protection Science, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies,
University of Kordofan, El Obeid P. O. Box 160, Sudan.
b Department of Entomology, Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar - Delhi G.T. Road (NH-1)
Phagwara-144411, India.
AUTHORS’ CONTRIBUTIONS
This work was carried out in collaboration between both authors. Both authors read and approved the final
manuscript.
Received: 20 February 2022
Accepted: 29 April 2022
Published: 05 May 2022
__________________________________________________________________________________
ABSTRACT
Honey bees are social insects produce honey and other hive products like propolis, royal jelly, bee venom and
bee wax. Besides, their significance as the valued pollinators of many vegetable and horticultural crops they also
play a crucial role in preservation of natural biodiversity. Many (diseases, parasites, insects) and environmental
stress have an impact on the longevity and efficiency of honey bees. Gasses, heavy metals and air pollutants, in
addition to inorganic compounds, have been linked to increased queen replacement and winter mortality in
honey bees, as well as reduced brood survival and interference with cellular metabolism. Furthermore, natural
poisons in food including toxic polysaccharides, phenolics, cyanogenic glycosides and alkaloids can impair
colony performance, influence energy production via mitochondrial ATP synthase inhibition and result in acute
mortality. In addition, adult bees ingesting acaricides such as formic acid and oxalic acid may die midgut cells,
reducing bee activity, nursing behavior and longevity. Furthermore, biosphere pollution caused by irresponsible
pesticide usage causing several issues to honey bee species, the most prominent of which is Apis mellifera L.
Although no one chemical has been linked to colony collapse disorder, it is possible that it contributes to
decreased honey bee health. Well understanding of pesticide mode of action in targeted pests and honey bees
has resulted in a viable technique to prevent pesticide side effects on honey bees. As a result, the purpose of this
review is to look into the toxicity of some pesticides used on crops, acaricides used in honey bee colonies and
natural plant toxins. Understanding the role of these compounds and their side effects on honey bees is
undoubtedly important in preventing colony collapse.
Keywords: Acute; toxicity; pesticides; pollutants; Apis mellifera.
1. INTRODUCTION
The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of the
most commonly act as crop pollinator [1,2] (Anderson
and Trueman, 2000). It is an exotic species that has
recently adapted to various climatic zones in India and
plays an important role in increasing crop production,
quality, honey production and other bee products
[3,4]. Honey bees are used for agricultural pollination
in India to a limited extent, and while they help in the
pollination of various crops in the countryside, these
are largely rear for honey production. Microorganisms
such as bacteria, fungus, protozoa, parasitic wasps,
viruses and mites live on honey bees [5]. The honey
Ibrahim and Devi; AJAAS, 5(1): 20-25, 2022
21
bee population has been declining globally in recent
years, with colony numbers in the United States
dropping by 45% in the last 60 years [6]. At present
crop production system plant protection chemicals
like pesticides, miticides and herbicides are being
sprayed to control insect pests, mites and weeds in
vegetable and other horticultural crops [7,8]. Some of
these chemicals have a wide range of ill-effect on
honey bees and other pollinators including bee
longevity, reproduction, population growth,
development time (from egg to adult or specific larvae
or pupae), feeding behavior, orientation behavior,
hygienic and grooming behavior, fighting/dancing
behavior, crawling behavior as well as deceased bees’
population in the vicinity of the colony [9,10].
Toxicity in honey bees is variable and depends on the
specific circumstances of a colony or an individual
bee, such as age, nutritional status, genetics,
infections and the type and mechanism of action of
pesticides, which can lead to a considerable decrease
in the number of bees leading to colony collapse
disorder [11]. The most common signs and symptoms
of bee poisoning include the appearance of dead bees
near or in front of the hive entrance, on the top cover
of the frames, or on the bottom board of the bee hive,
a small number of guard bees, hygienic and grooming
behavioral and aggressiveness changes, fighting
among bees and crawling nearby the colony as a
result of paralysis, severe food storage deficiency,
declining bee population, and finally, contamination
[12-15]. This review, on the other hand, is attempting
to bolster the argument that some pesticides have
negative impacts on honey bee health that require
additional investigation.
2. EXAMINATION OF THE LITERATURE
The sources for the literature were peer-reviewed
publications those were collected from various
sources. This review research retrieved to different
categories of hazardous substances such as toxic
compounds with varying levels of toxicity to honey
bees have been discovered in some of the articles. As
a result, the review paper aimed to summarize
knowledge on harmful chemical to honey bee Apis
mellifera in a systematic and thorough manner. The
data were collected from different sources (>100),
with the selection process for these researches
depicted in following figure.
However, the literature relevant to various aspects of
the present investigation has been reviewed under the
following headings: -
1. Neonicotinoid:
These insecticides are the most often used for insect
pest management on vegetable and horticultural crops
and they can be apply directly or indirectly to plant
canopy [16]. Neonicotinoids causes chronic
cholinergic receptor activation, resulted in
hyperexcitation and finally lead to mortality [17] as
systemic pesticides deposited in pollen and nectar of
treated crops during the blooming and flowering time
[18] come into the contact of the honey bees for
longer periods of time, but there are no harmful
impacts reported from the crop grown from treated
seeds [19]. Pesticide exposure appears to be a dose-
dependent affect to foraging response of the bee.
However, neonicotinoid exposure can causes
symptoms resembled to hyper responsive neurological
abnormalities, [20]. On the other hand, this group of
insecticide causes disturbance of flight orientation of
foraging bees [21,22,23] such as reduction in flight
time and speed, navigational difficulties are among
foraging bees etc. [24,25]. Initially neonicotinoids
might be overstimulate foraging bees and cause
hyper-responsiveness, which can progress to tiredness
over time [20]. As a result, nurse bees may begin
starting foraging in early stage of their age, thus
potentially resulting in reduction the number of nurse
bees inside the hive [26]. However, honey bee larvae
showed behavioural abnormalities when exposed to
sub lethal doses of imidacloprid [27]. Moreover,
neonicotinoid proven to have side effect on honey bee
navigation, learning and memory, and motor function
when they were used in low doses [28-31].
Fig. 1. Data process and final extraction
Ibrahim and Devi; AJAAS, 5(1): 20-25, 2022
22
2. Genetically engineered crops:
Genetically engineered crops such as soybeans and
cotton widely and quickly adopted in USA, for insect-
resistant mainly for lepidopteran and coleopteran
pests [32]. Although Bacillus thuringiensis is
frequently employed as a biological insecticide,
laboratory and field testing with honey bees have
revealed no negative effects [33]. Incorporating genes
coding for insecticidal proteins generated by Bt a
common soil bacterium, confers insect resistance
(ISB, 2007). The phenomena was a Bt-endotoxin bind
to receptor on the epithelium and generate holes in the
insect gut [34] that allow stomach contents to escape
into the lumen, put the midgut under osmotic stress
and finally killing insect [34] however, Bt sweet corn
had no effect on honey bee mortality [35]. According
to Ramirez-Romero et al. [29] feeding with Cry1ab
protein in syrup had no effect on bees [29]. Similarly,
feeding bee with food containing Cry3b at 1000
concentration seen in pollen grain and found to have
no effect on bee broods weights (Arpaia, 1996). In
2005, Babendreier and his co-workers observed that
feeding honey bees with pollen containing Cry1ab
maize has no effect on broods survival, gut microbiota
and development of the hypopharyngeal gland.
However, there is no evidence that switching to Bt
crops has harmed honey bee colonies in the United
States.
3. Pyrethroids:
Pyrethroids have low mammals toxicity, quick in
action, broad-spectrum, photostability and having low
bioaccumulation risk but they still poses a health
hazard to humans. Hardstone and Scott [36] and
Spurlock and Lee [37] found that honey made from
toxic plants had a lot of typical plant toxins, such as
grayanotoxins, triptolides, tutin and pyrrolizidine
alkaloids as these plant toxins are used on many types
of agricultural plants, including fruit trees [38]. As a
result of being exposed to sub lethal levels of
pyrethroids, bee behaviour may change, which could
lead to social disorder or abnormalities in foraging
[39]. Cyfluthrin, tau-fluvalinate, allethrin and
permethrin and the nectar toxins (aconitine and
grayanotoxin I) found to have side effect to honey bee
locomotion, grooming and wing fanning behaviour.
Affected bees spent more time upside down and
stayed for a longer time. It was observed that After
feeding with nectar containing aconitine or allethrin,
adult bees didn't spend nearly as much time grooming
their antennae [40]. High doses of pyrethrins/
pyrethroids and nectar toxins can be dangerous for
bees to come across in the field. This depends on the
type and toxicity of the compounds, as example the
deposit of tau-fluvalinate by beekeepers for
controlling mite inside the hives, bees may come into
contact with concentrations of up to 7.5 ppm
[41,42,43]. Toxins were also found naturally in honey
which include grayanotoxins, triptolides, tutin, and
pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Plants that grow in soils with
exceptionally, absorb high metal concentrations
through their roots and late on accumulate them in
their tissues. Some plants were also found to
accumulate and tolerate to Se in varied degrees up to
15,000 mg Se/kg dry weight. Se build-up in these
plants and result in negative effects on other species
in the community and at large quantities it can cause
toxicity as like as in case of Indian mustard, Brassica
spp. [44].
4. Air Pollution:
Though research findings revealed that honey bees
have evolved to withstand and even thrive in the
presence of poisonous substances found in the
environment [45], but copper, zinc, lead, cadmium,
cobalt, nickel, manganese, vanadium, chromium, iron,
arsenic, tungsten and aluminium and other unknown
heavy metals were known to be hazardous to the bees
and causes damage to wings, antennae and hind legs
leads to early death of bees [46,47,48,49]. Mercury,
sulfur dioxide, nitric oxides, and ammonia are
examples of pollutants that accumulate in the air and
cause difficulties for the pollinators. The majority of
them via coal-fired power plants and automobile
tailpipes, while some comes from industrial pollutants
as well. Such gases, on the other hand, cause honey
bee memory loss and disrupt their orientation flight
[50-52]. Direct and indirect CO2 exposure has a
considerable impact on the amounts of biogenic
amines in the brain of honey bees [53]. Fuel
combustion (SO2 and NOx) interrupts honey bee
olfactory signals, resulting in a significant reduction
in bee products (Ponikvar, et al., 2005). The honey
bee has several important characteristics, such as
morphological, ecological and behavioural, that make
it a reliable detector of toxic substances in two ways:
it signals either high mortality rates due to the
presence of toxic molecules in the bee's body or
residues in products [54]. Honey bees, preform dance
exclusively for the most profitable resources,
providing spatial information about the availability of
high-quality food [55]. Pollution levels were also
linked to bees longevity, how frequently they visited
flowers, their heart rate and their breathing rate.
Genes linked to stress, nutrition, immunity, defence
and other behavioural aspects have different gene
expression [49].
3. CONCLUSION
Our findings indicated a wide range of all tested
pesticides caused diverse poisoning symptoms to the
honey bee species, A. mellifera L. Therefore, farmers
Ibrahim and Devi; AJAAS, 5(1): 20-25, 2022
23
are suggested to apply only selective pesticides to
fruits and vegetable crops those have low toxicity to
honey bees. However, these review findings could be
a tool for gaining a better understanding of the issue.
COMPETING INTERESTS
Authors have declared that no competing interests
exist.
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