, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 34–44 | Cite as

Toxicity of insecticides used in the Brazilian melon crop to the honey bee Apis mellifera under laboratory conditions

  • Ewerton M. Costa
  • Elton L. Araujo
  • André V. P. Maia
  • Francisco E. L. Silva
  • Carlos E. S. BezerraEmail author
  • Janisete G. Silva
Original article


This study aimed at evaluating the toxicity of insecticides used in melon crop (Cucumis melo L.) on adults of Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) under laboratory conditions. Three ways of exposure were used: direct spraying, feeding with insecticide contaminated diet, and contact with sprayed leaves. Bees were exposed to the insecticides abamectin, acetamiprid, cartap chloride, chlorfenapyr, cyromazin, deltamethrin, thiamethoxam, flufenoxuron, and pyriproxyfen at the highest dosages recommended by the manufacturers for the melon crop in Brazil. Results indicated that, regardless of how the bees were exposed to insecticides, thiamethoxam, abamectin, and chlorfenapyr were extremely toxic to adults of A. mellifera. Acetamiprid, deltamethrin, and cartap chloride were most toxic when directly sprayed on the bees. Cyromazin and pyriproxyfen caused low mortality rates to A. mellifera, whereas flufenoxuron caused moderate mortality when fed to adult bees.


conservation mortality nontarget organisms pollinator phytosanitary treatment 



We would like to thank Jacquelinne A. M. Araujo (Master Student—Plant Science/UFERSA) for her help in the laboratory and Carter R. Miller (PhD in Horticulture—Pennsylvania State University) for his valuable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Financial support was provided by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) through a Ph.D. fellowship to the first author.


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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ewerton M. Costa
    • 1
  • Elton L. Araujo
    • 1
  • André V. P. Maia
    • 1
  • Francisco E. L. Silva
    • 1
  • Carlos E. S. Bezerra
    • 2
    Email author
  • Janisete G. Silva
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências VegetaisUniversidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido (UFERSA)MossoróBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de EntomologiaUniversidade Federal de LavrasLavrasBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Estadual de Santa CruzIlhéusBrazil

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