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Bees and pesticides: the research impact and scientometrics relations

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Bees are fundamental insects in agroecosystems, mainly due to pollination. However, its decline has been observed in recent years, and the contamination by pesticides is suspected to be responsible. This relationship is the objective of our research, which is the first scientometric study on this subject. The data were obtained from the Web of Science database (1231) and were analyzed using Microsoft Office Excel and CiteSpace. The results point to a significant increase in pesticide and bee reseach in the last 15 years in the most influential scientific journals. The USA and France have the largest number of publications and a moderade relationship between this trait and GDP (gross domestic product) was observed (r = 0.80; r2 = 0.60). There is no correlation between the use of pesticides and studies of the effects on pollinators and the use of pesticides and the countries’ GDP. In general, studies have shown the negative effects of the contamination by pesticides on bees; however, most publications are with bees of the Apis genus, and therefore it is necessary to explore the action of pesticides on bumble bees and wild bees, as well furthur as studies are needed regarding the sublethal effects of these products on bees as the number of molecules used in the management of agricultural crops is vast.

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The authors would like to thank Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR) for promoting research.

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The datasets generated and/or analysed during the current study are available in the Web of Science repository (


Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR) for granting graduate scholarships.

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Conceptualization/idea for the article: Raiza Abati, Michele Potrich. Methodology: Raiza Abati, Amanda Roberto Sampaio. Formal analysis and investigation: Raiza Abati, Amanda Roberto Sampaio, Rodrigo Mendes Antunes Maciel, Fernanda Caroline Colombo, Nédia de Castilhos Ghisi. Writing — original draft preparation: Raiza Abati; Amanda Roberta Sampaio; Rodrigo Mendes Antunes Maciel; Fernanda Caroline Colombo; Gabriela Libardoni; Lucas Battisti. Writing — review and editing: Michele Potrich, Nédia Ghisi, Fabiana Martins Costa-Maia, Everton Ricardi Lozano. Funding acquisition: Michele Potrich Resources: Raiza Abati. Supervision: Michele Potrich, Nédia de Castilhos Ghisi Validation; Visualization.

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Correspondence to Michele Potrich.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Abati, R., Sampaio, A.R., Maciel, R.M.A. et al. Bees and pesticides: the research impact and scientometrics relations. Environ Sci Pollut Res 28, 32282–32298 (2021).

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