Plant guttation water as a potential route for pesticide exposure in honey bees: a review of recent literature
Because honey bees periodically collect water, guttation water from treated crops has been suggested as a potential exposure route to systemic pesticides. We reviewed studies that were published in the scientific literature since a previous review of the topic. We identified several studies that reported residue levels of pesticides in guttation water. However, few studies addressed guttation water as a potential exposure route to honey bees. In these studies, no significant effects on honey bee colony health or overwintering survival were observed when colonies were located within fields of treated crops during guttation periods. The previous and current review suggests that exposure to pesticides via guttation water alone is unlikely to negatively affect honey bee colonies. A better understanding of water foraging by honey bees would be needed to address whether guttation water could represent a relevant exposure route of honey bees to systemic pesticides.
Keywordsguttation honey bees pesticide risk assessment neonicotinoids
We want to thank Gregg Hancock, members of the Pollinator Research Task Force and a reviewer for comments on a previous version of the manuscript, and Jennifer Jackson for manuscript formatting.
AS and BO developed the review goals; AS and BK contributed equally to the literature review and manuscript preparation; all authors contributed to read and approved the final version.
Funding for the work on this review and the preparation of the manuscript was provided by the Pollinator Research Task Force (PRTF).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that the work on the review was funded by the Pollinator Research Task Force (PRTF), an industry interest group of crop protection companies.
- Cutler, G. C., Scott-Dupree, C. D., Sultan, M., McFarlane, A. D., Brewer, L. (2014) A large-scale field study examining effects of exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola on honey bee colony health, development, and overwintering success. Peer J, DOI: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.652 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Girolami, V., Mazzon, L., Squartini, A., Mori, N., Marzaro, M., Bernardo, A. D., Greatti, M., Giorio, C., Tapparo, A. (2009) Translocation of neonicotinoid insecticides from coated seeds to seedling guttation drops: a novel way of intoxication for bees. J. Econ. Entomol. 102 (5), 1808–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Joachimsmeier, I., Pistorius, J., Heimbach, U., Schenke, D., Kirchner, W. (2011a) Water collection by honey bees–how far will foragers fly to use water sources like guttation drops? a first distance trial using cereals and oilseed rape, in: 11th International Symposium of the ICP-BR Bee Protection Group, Wageningen (The Netherlands), 2-4 November, 2011, Julius-Kühn-Archiv, 437, 82–86Google Scholar
- Joachimsmeier I., Pistorius, J., Heimbach, U., Schenke, D., Zwerger P., Kirchner, W. (2011b) Frequency and intensity of guttation events in different crops in Germany, in: 11th International Symposium of the ICP-BR Bee Protection Group, Wageningen (The Netherlands), 2-4 November, 2011, Julius-Kühn-Archiv, 437, 87–90.Google Scholar
- Marzaro, M., Vivan, L., Targa, A., Mazzon, L., Mori, N., et al. (2011) Lethal aerial powdering of honey bees with neonicotinoids from fragments of maize seed coat. B. Insectol. 64 (1), 119–126Google Scholar
- Nikolakis, A., Keppler, J., Miles, M., Schoening, R. (2014) Neonicotinoid seed treatment products – occurrence and relevance of guttation for honeybee colonies, in: 12th International Symposium of the ICP-PR Bee Protection Group, Ghent (Belgium), 15-17 September, 2014, Julius-Kühn-Archiv, 450, 160–167.Google Scholar
- Pistorius, J., Brobyn, T., Campbell, P., Forster, R., Lortsch, J-A., et al. (2011) Assessment of risks to honey bees posed by guttation, in: 11th International Symposium of the ICP-BR Bee Protection Group, Wageningen (The Netherlands), 2-4 November, 2011, Julius-Kühn-Archiv, 437, 199–208Google Scholar
- Rortais, A., Arnold, G., Dorne, J-L., More, S. J., Sperandio, G., Streissl, F., Szentes, C., Verdonck, F. (2017) Risk assessment of pesticides and other stressors in bees: Principles, data gaps and perspectives from the European Food Safety Authority. Sci. Total Environ. 587–588, 524–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Seeley, T. D. (1995) The Wisdom of the Hive: The Social Physiology of Honey Bee Colonies. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
- Seitz, N., Traynor, K. S., Steinhauer, N., Rennich, K., Wilson, M. E., Ellis, J. D., Rose, R., Tarpy, D. R., Sagili, R. R., Caron, D. M., Delaplane, K. S., Rangel, J., Lee, K., Baylis, K., Wilkes, J. T., Skinner, J. A., Pettis, J. S., vanEngelsdorp, D. (2015) A national survey of managed honey bee 2014–2015 annual colony losses in the USA. J. Apicult. Research 54, 292–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). (2012) White paper in support of the proposed risk assessment process for bees. Environmental Fate and Effects Division. Office of Pesticide Program. Washington, D.C. [online] http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/surfwtr/presentations/epa_whitepaper.pdf (accessed on 1 May 2017)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). (2014) Guidance for assessing pesticide risks to bees. Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Office of Pesticide Programs Environmental Fate and Effects Division, Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC; Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency, Ottawa, CN; California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Sacramento, CA.Google Scholar
- Wirtz, I. P., Hauer-Jákli, M., Schenke, D., Ladewig, E., Märländer, B., Heimbach, U., Pistorius, J. (2018) Investigations on neonicotinoids in guttation fluid of seed treated sugar beet: Frequency, residue levels and discussion of the potential risk to honey bees. Crop Prot. 105, 28–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar