The dose makes the poison: have “field realistic” rates of exposure of bees to neonicotinoid insecticides been overestimated in laboratory studies?

Written by
Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 53 (5) pp. 607-614
DOI

10.3896/IBRA.1.53.5.08
Date

December 2014
Article Title

The dose makes the poison: have “field realistic” rates of exposure of bees to neonicotinoid insecticides been overestimated in laboratory studies?
Author(s)

Norman L Carreck , Francis L W Ratnieks
Abstract

Recent laboratory based studies have demonstrated adverse sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bees and bumble bees, and these studies have been influential in leading to a European Union moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoids, clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam on “bee attractive” crops. Yet so far, these same effects have not been observed in field studies. Here we review the three key dosage factors (concentration, duration and choice) relevant to field conditions, and conclude that these have probably been over estimated in many laboratory based studies.

Keywords

honey bees, bumble bees, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, concentration, duration, choice, laboratory studies, field studies
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