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Transportation effect on bees sensitivity to pesticides

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  • Transportation effect on bees sensitivity to pesticides

    Transportation effect on bees sensitivity to pesticides - Z.H.Huang


    Abstract: Honey bees are critical pollinators whose managed populations face global declines due, in part, to an increased use of insecticides. Transportation of honey bees is necessary all over the world to meet the demands of fruit and vegetable pollination. Previous studies suggested transportation can adversely affect honey bee physiology but it is not clear whether transportation can affect honey bee sensitivity to pesticides. We hypothesize that transportation weakens honey bees such that they are more prone to insecticide poisoning. We found that transportation and mock transportation both sensitize honey bees to neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. We then tested whether this is because transportation makes bees age faster and that older bees are more sensitive to insecticides. Indeed, significantly higher juvenile hormone titers were found in mock transported bees than that in control bees, suggesting that transported bees aged faster. In addition, old bees were more sensitive to pesticides than younger bees. These results suggest the mechanisms of sensitization are due to transportation making bees age faster and aged bees being more vulnerable to insecticides. Thus the widely-practiced transportation of honey bee colonies sensitizes them to insecticides, increasing their risk of pesticide poisoning. Further studies

    are needed to provide measures to counter these effects.
    1. 90 types of pesticides and metabolites were found in wax including human induced
    2. 70% of USA bees are transported to CA for almond pollination
    3. Bees experiencing long distance > 3k km transportation had smaller food glands
    4. Nosema prevalence increased after transportation. Higher Nosema by 8%
    5. Study Method
      1. Control
      2. Shaken with lab shaker
      3. By Car - CA to Florida and GA to Michigan
    6. Results
      1. Shaken and Car both much faster die off when combined with pesticides
        1. Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam and Chlorpyrifos
      2. LC50 (death of 50% of the bees)
        1. 2 - 2.5 times more likely with shaken bees than the control (nonmoved)
    7. Mechanism
      1. Shaking makes them age faster? Yes
        1. Are higher juvenile hormones present in shaken bees? YES
      2. Foragers more sensitive to insecticides? Yes
    8. Could be reasons for increased bee mortality
    Kalispell, Montana Zone 4a
    Certified Master Beekeeper