Apidologie

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 563–574 | Cite as

Sub-lethal effects of thiamethoxam, a neonicotinoid pesticide, and propiconazole, a DMI fungicide, on colony initiation in bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) micro-colonies

  • Charlotte Elston
  • Helen M. Thompson
  • Keith F. A. Walters
Original article

Abstract

This study investigated whether field-realistic exposure to a neonicotinoid insecticide and a fungicide affected nest building or brood production in queenless Bombus terrestris micro-colonies in the laboratory. Bees were exposed to honey water and pollen paste containing field-realistic mean or field-maximum exposure rates of thiamethoxam (1, 10 μg/kg) or propiconazole (23, 230 mg/kg) for 28 days. Thiamethoxam: Both doses reduced consumption of honey water solution and resulted in fewer wax cells. At 10 μg/kg, nest building initiation was delayed, fewer eggs were laid and no larvae produced. Propiconazole: Both doses reduced consumption of honey water solution. At 23 mg/kg, fewer wax cells were produced. Thus, at realistic (mean) exposure rates of these pesticides, no adverse impacts on brood production were found. Pesticide-free alternative forage will reduce field exposure by dilution and thus the impact of maximum rates.

Keywords

Bombus terrestris thiamethoxam propiconazole nectar consumption nest building brood 

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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charlotte Elston
    • 1
  • Helen M. Thompson
    • 2
  • Keith F. A. Walters
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Ecology and EvolutionImperial College London, Silwood Park CampusAscotUK
  2. 2.FeraYork,UK

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