Pollen contaminated with field-relevant levels of cyhalothrin affects honey bee survival, nutritional physiology, and pollen consumption behavior


Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 109, p.41-48 (2016)


Apis mellifera, honey bee, insecticide, nutrition, sublethal dose


<p>Honey bees are exposed to a variety of environmental factors that impact their health, including nutritional<br />
stress, pathogens, and pesticides. In particular, there has been increasing evidence that sublethal exposure to<br />
pesticides can cause subtle, yet important effects on honey bee health and behavior. Here, we add to this body<br />
of knowledge by presenting data on bee-collected pollen containing sublethal levels of cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid<br />
insecticide, which, when fed to young honey bees, resulted in significant changes in lifespan, nutritional physiology,<br />
and behavior. For the first time, we show that when young, nest-aged bees are presented with pollen<br />
containing field-relevant levels of cyhalothrin, they reduce their consumption of contaminated pollen. This indicates<br />
that, at least for some chemicals, young bees are able to detect contamination in pollen and change their<br />
behavioral response, even if the contamination levels do not prevent foraging honey bees from collecting the<br />
contaminated pollen.</p>