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


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.

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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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Correspondence to Carlos E. S. Bezerra.

Additional information

Toxicité des insecticides utilisés en cultures de melon au Brésil vis-à-vis de l’abeille Apis mellifera , en conditions de laboratoire

Conservation / mortalité / organisme non-cible / pollinisateur / traitement phytosanitaire

Toxizität von im brasilianischen Melonenanbau eingesetzten Insektiziden für die Honigbiene Apis mellifera unter Laborbedingungen

Schutz / Mortalität / Nicht-Ziel Organismen / Bestäubung / Pflanzengesundheitsbehandlung

Manuscript editor: Monique Gauthier

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Costa, E.M., Araujo, E.L., Maia, A.V.P. et al. Toxicity of insecticides used in the Brazilian melon crop to the honey bee Apis mellifera under laboratory conditions. Apidologie 45, 34–44 (2014).

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  • conservation
  • mortality
  • nontarget organisms
  • pollinator
  • phytosanitary treatment