Is Apis mellifera more sensitive to insecticides than other insects?
Version of Record online: 29 JUL 2010
Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry
Pest Management Science
Volume 66, Issue 11, pages 1171–1180, November 2010
How to Cite
Hardstone, M. C. and Scott, J. G. (2010), Is Apis mellifera more sensitive to insecticides than other insects?. Pest. Manag. Sci., 66: 1171–1180. doi: 10.1002/ps.2001
- Issue online: 29 JUL 2010
- Version of Record online: 29 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 MAY 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 26 MAY 2010
- Manuscript Received: 17 FEB 2010
- Sarkaria Institute of Insect Physiology and Toxicology
- comparative toxicology;
BACKGROUND: Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are among the most important pollinators in natural and agricultural settings. They commonly encounter insecticides, and the effects of insecticides on honey bees have been frequently noted. It has been suggested that honey bees may be (as a species) uniquely sensitive to insecticides, although no comparative toxicology study has been undertaken to examine this claim. An extensive literature review was conducted, using data in which adult insects were topically treated with insecticides. The goal of this review was to summarize insecticide toxicity data between A. mellifera and other insects to determine the relative sensitivity of honey bees to insecticides.
RESULTS: It was found that, in general, honey bees were no more sensitive than other insect species across the 62 insecticides examined. In addition, honey bees were not more sensitive to any of the six classes of insecticides (carbamates, nicotinoids, organochlorines, organophosphates, pyrethroids and miscellaneous) examined.
CONCLUSIONS: While honey bees can be sensitive to individual insecticides, they are not a highly sensitive species to insecticides overall, or even to specific classes of insecticides. However, all pesticides should be used in a way that minimizes honey bee exposure, so as to minimize possible declines in the number of bees and/or honey contamination. Copyright © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry