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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344290

Research Project: Managing and Conserving Diverse Bee Pollinators for Sustainable Crop Production and Wildland Preservation

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

Title: Routes of pesticide exposure in solitary, cavity-nesting bees

Author
item KOPIT, ANDI - Utah State University
item Pitts Singer, Theresa

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2018
Publication Date: 4/4/2018
Citation: Kopit, A., Pitts-Singer, T. 2018. Routes of pesticide exposure in solitary, cavity-nesting bees. Environmental Entomology. 47(3):499-510. https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvy034.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/nvy034

Interpretive Summary: The declines of pollinator health and populations are a current commercial and ecological concern. In particular, there are continuing challenges related to maintaining healthy commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations. Agricultural practices might contribute to honey bee losses, including the use of chemical pesticides. These same practices also may contribute to declines of native bee populations. To help in understanding the risk of pesticide exposure for pollinators, we discuss how the properties of pesticides determine how long they remain in the environment so that bees may be affected by them. Four routes of pesticide exposure are defined for solitary, cavity-nesting bees. The exposure routes include eating of the pesticides by larvae and adults, by direct contact with the pesticide, and by the passing of a chemical to eggs inside the mother bee. We discuss the published reports of the impacts of several pesticides on bees to illustrate exposure routes. To further explore routes of exposure, new techniques and protocols are needed for making assessments on non-honey bees and for performing crucial tests. Alternative and additional routes also may yet to be realized for considering exposure risk for all types of wild and managed pollinators.

Technical Abstract: The declines of pollinator health and populations are a current commercial and ecological concern. In particular, challenges related to maintaining healthy commercial honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) populations continue. Agricultural practices, such as the use of agrochemicals, are among factors that contribute to honey bee population losses, and these practices also may contribute to declines of native bee populations. In order to understand the risk of pesticide exposure for pollinators, pesticide characteristics that determine the environmental whereabouts of the products or their residues are discussed. Four routes of pesticide exposure are defined for solitary, cavity-nesting bees. The exposure routes include larval ingestion, adult ingestion, contact, and transovarial transmission. Research reports of the effects of several pesticides on solitary bees are presented to exemplify each of the pesticide exposure routes. To further explore routes of exposure, new techniques and protocols are needed for making assessments on non-Apis bees and for performing crucial bioassays. Alternative and additional routes also may yet to be realized for considering exposure risk for all types of wild and managed pollinators.