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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of a Standard Artificial Flower Design to Feed Individual Bees Known Amounts of Pesticides

Authors
item Ladurner, Edith - UINV DI BOLOGNA, ITALY
item Bosch, Jordi - UINV. DE BARCELONA, SPAIN
item KEMP, WILLIAM
item Maini, Stefano - UINV DI BOLOGNA, ITALY

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 11, 2004
Publication Date: July 7, 2005
Citation: Ladurner, E., Bosch, J., Kemp, W.P., Maini, S. 2005. Evaluation of a standard artificial flower design to feed individual bees known amounts of pesticides. Apidologie. 36:379-387.

Interpretive Summary: Improvements in standardized methods to feed bees known amounts of pesticides are needed for studying the potential environmental effects of new pesticide registrations. In this study, we investigated the feeding individual bees on a standard artificial flower with or without a scent applied. We tested experienced and naive (without foraging experience) Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata females (solitary bees), and experienced honey bee (Apis mellifera) workers, as well as trained (exposed to the artificial flower for 24 h) and untrained individuals of the three species. For comparison, we also fed untrained individuals of all three species with feeding units made with natural flowers that we have used successfully in the past. Feeding success on artificial flowers was lower (0-50%) for O. lignaria and M. rotundata, than A. mellifera (70-96.7%). Training improved feeding success in O. lignaria and A. mellifera, but not M. rotundata. Experience improved feeding success in O. lignaria, but not M. rotundata. Scent had no effect on feeding success for any of the three species. Feeding success with the natural flower method was high for the three species (86.7-90%). From this study, we concluded that feeding units that were constructed with natural flower parts were superior to completely artificial devices for feeding bees known amounts of pesticides.

Technical Abstract: We investigated the possibility of feeding individual bees known amounts of pesticides on a standard artificial flower with or without scent. We tested experienced and naive (without foraging experience) Osmia lignaria and Megachile rotundata females, and experienced Apis mellifera workers, as well as trained (exposed to the artificial flower for 24 h) and untrained individuals of the three species. We also fed untrained individuals of all three species with feeding units made with natural flowers (Ladurner et al., 2003). Feeding success on artificial flowers was lower (0-50%) for O. lignaria and M. rotundata, than A. mellifera (70-96.7%). Training improved feeding success in O. lignaria and A. mellifera, but not M. rotundata. Experience improved feeding success in O. lignaria, but not M. rotundata. Scent had no effect on feeding success for any of the three species. Feeding success with the natural flower method was high for the three species (86.7-90%).

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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