Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 133–140 | Cite as

Susceptibility of Megachile rotundata to insecticides used in wild blueberry production in Atlantic Canada

  • A. E. Gradish
  • C. D. Scott-Dupree
  • G. C. CutlerEmail author
Original Paper


The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Fabricius), is a valuable wild and managed pollinator of lowbush blueberry (syn. ‘wild blueberry’, Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.), in Atlantic Canada. As some insecticides may present a hazard to pollinators, we assessed the susceptibility of M. rotundata to insecticides used or projected for future use in lowbush blueberry pest management. In topical direct contact bioassays, adults were susceptible to phosmet, spinosad, spinetoram, and deltamethrin. Based on findings from these laboratory studies, it appears that when used at recommended or projected application rates, each of these compounds poses a hazard to M. rotundata by direct contact. In a second experiment, eggs and larvae were collected in the field and their pollen provisions were treated with deltamethrin, flubendiamide, and spinetoram at field relevant concentrations. Larvae treated with deltamethrin and spinetoram in the laboratory either died before spinning a cocoon or, in the case of spinetoram, occasionally pupated without spinning a cocoon. Flubendiamide was not toxic to adult M. rotundata by direct contact and had no effect on larval survivorship, or time to complete cocoon spinning. Emergence after overwintering was relatively poor overall, but there was no effect of treatment. Based on these results, flubendiamide appears safe to use in the presence of M. rotundata, whereas the other insecticides we tested may pose a hazard.


Pollinators Megachile rotundata Vaccinium angustifolium Insecticide toxicity 



Funding for this project was provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Technology Development 2000 Program, the Wild Blueberry Producers Association of Nova Scotia, the PEI Wild Blueberry Growers’ Association, and the NSERC-Canadian Pollination Initiative (CANPOLIN). We thank Bayer CropScience and Dow AgroSciences for donating insecticides, and Andrew McFarlane, Erik Glemser, and Andrew Frewin for technical assistance. This is publication no. 14 of NSERC-CANPOLIN.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. E. Gradish
    • 1
  • C. D. Scott-Dupree
    • 1
  • G. C. Cutler
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesNova Scotia Agricultural CollegeTruroCanada

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