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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: The Interaction of Pesticides with Pollinator Health and Behavior in Fruit Production Systems in the United States

Location: Pollinating Insects-- Biology, Management and Systematics Research

Project Number: 5428-21000-015-18
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 01, 2014
End Date: Jul 31, 2017

Objective:
The health, sustainability, and effectiveness of non-Apis bees as pollinators of small fruits can be impacted by pathogens, parasites, pesticide use, and commercial management systems. Objectives for addressing impacting factors include: 1) surveying the exposure of managed bees to pesticides in small fruit production systems, 2) assessing the impact of pesticide exposure on bee immunity in controlled laboratory studies, and 3) assessing the impact of field encountered pesticides on bee behavior and health in greenhouse studies.

Approach:
Objectives will be met, respectively, by: 1) obtaining collections of bee-collected pollen from foraging bees in commercial agricultural settings, including commercial blueberry farms, and having samples analyzed for pesticide presence; 2) controlled laboratory experiments using field-encountered doses of pesticides to observe the effects on pathogen levels and immune response in bees; 3) controlled experiments to observe the effects of pesticides on bee behaviors and health such as flower handling time and colony growth rates.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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