Apr 29, 2016
Study analyzes individual neonicotinoid effects on bees

A new study analyzes the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides to determine their relative risk to bumblebees. The study published in Scientific Reports, “Neonicotinoids target distinct nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and neurons, leading to differential risks to bumblebees,” looks at imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.bees_Story_606x279.jpg

Neonicotinoid risks need to be considered independently for each compound, according to the study. Effects were analyzed at all levels, including individual cells, bees and whole colonies in semi-field conditions.

The study found bee immobility was induced only by imidacloprid. Imidacloprid and clothianidin display distinct, overlapping, abilities to stimulate Kenyon cells, according to the study. This indicates the potential to differentially influence bumblebee behavior, the authors wrote.

On the colony level, only thiamethoxam altered the sex ratio, leading to more males being present in the colony. Queen production was increased by cothianidin. Both imidacloprid and thiamethoxam caused deficits in colony strength, while no detrimental effects of clothianidin were observed, according to the study’s findings.

Find the complete study on the Scientific Reports website.

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