Effects of Sublethal Doses of Acetamiprid and Thiamethoxam on the Behavior of the Honeybee (Apis mellifera)

  • Abdessalam Kacimi El Hassani
  • Matthieu Dacher
  • Vincent Gary
  • Michel Lambin
  • Monique Gauthier
  • Catherine ArmengaudEmail author


Acetamiprid and thiamethoxam are insecticides introduced for pest control, but they can also affect non-target insects such as honeybees. In insects, these neonicotinoid insecticides are known to act on acetylcholine nicotinic receptors but the behavioral effects of low doses are not yet fully understood. The effects of acetamiprid and thiamethoxam were studied after acute sublethal treatment on the behavior of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) under controlled laboratory conditions. The drugs were either administered orally or applied topically on the thorax. After oral consumption acetamiprid increased sensitivity to antennal stimulation by sucrose solutions at doses of 1 μg/bee and impaired long-term retention of olfactory learning at the dose of 0.1 μg/bee. Acetamiprid thoracic application induced no effect in these behavioral assays but increased locomotor activity (0.1 and 0.5 μg/bee) and water-induced proboscis extension reflex (0.1, 0.5, and 1 μg/bee). Unlike acetamiprid, thiamethoxam had no effect on bees’ behavior under the conditions used. Our results suggest a particular vulnerability of honeybee behavior to sublethal doses of acetamiprid.


Conditioned Stimulus Locomotor Activity Unconditioned Stimulus Imidacloprid Thiamethoxam 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by a French Agriculture Ministry grant to M. Dacher, A. K. El Hassani, and V. Garry (Grant 407 ONIFLHOR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdessalam Kacimi El Hassani
    • 1
  • Matthieu Dacher
    • 1
  • Vincent Gary
    • 1
  • Michel Lambin
    • 1
  • Monique Gauthier
    • 1
  • Catherine Armengaud
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre de Recherches sur la Cognition AnimaleUniversité Paul Sabatier Toulouse IIIToulouse Cedex 04France

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