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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355926

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Tactics to Manage Invasive Insect Pests and Weeds

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Pesticide residues in conventionally and organically managed apiaries in south and north Florida

Author
item KANGA, LAMBERT - Florida A & M University
item SIEBERT, SHALOM - Florida A & M University
item SHEIKH, MEHBOOB - Florida A & M University
item Legaspi, Jesusa - Susie

Submitted to: Current Investigations in Agriculture and Current Research(CIACR)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2019
Publication Date: 8/7/2019
Citation: Kanga, L., Siebert, S.C., Sheikh, M., Legaspi, J.C. 2019. Pesticide residues in conventionally and organically managed apiaries in south and north Florida. Current Investigations in Agriculture and Current Research (CIACR). 7(3):000262. https://doi.org/10.32474/CIACR.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.32474/CIACR

Interpretive Summary: Honey bee populations in the United States have been in decline for many years in part due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The Colony Collapse has multiple roots including invertebrate pests, viral and bacterial pathogens, exposure to pesticides, malnutrition, beekeeping practices, as well as climatic factors. Scientists from USDA-Agricultural Research Service-Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Tallahassee, Florida, and from Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida, collaborated to evaluate pesticide residues in bee hive kept under two different beekeeping management practices: conventional and organic apiaries. Pesticide residues were not detected in bee samples collected from organically-kept hives. However, trace amounts of a fungicide and pyrethroid insecticides were found in bee samples from conventionally-kept hives. The insecticide formamidine amitraz was detected in honey collected from conventionally-kept hives but not in honey collected from organically-kept hives. Residues of several pesticides were found in wax from both conventional and organically-kept apiaries. However, the levels of residues in conventionally-kept hives were 4 times higher than those in organically-kept apiaries. Two pyrethroid insecticides were found in pollen samples collected from organically-kept hives while several classes of pesticides were detected in pollen from conventionally-kept hives. In general, pesticide residues were higher in conventional versus organically-kept apiaries suggesting there could be an advantage to maintaining hives in organic conditions.

Technical Abstract: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations in the United States have been declining for many years. The newest disease called “Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)” has concerned scientists, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and the general public. CCD may be attributed to pests and pathogens, exposure to pesticides, malnutrition, beekeeping practices, and other factors. Because the honey bee is a critical pollinator in US agriculture, we investigated honey bee health in two different beekeeping management practices (conventional and organically-kept apiaries). We found no pesticide residues in bee samples collected from organically-kept hives; whereas, trace amounts of the fungicide chlorothalonil and the pyrethroid fluvalinate were found in bee samples from conventionally-kept hives. Unlike honey collected from organically-kept hives, a concentration of 12.45 ppb of the formamidine amitraz was found in honey collected from conventionally-kept hives. Residues of several pesticides were found in wax from both conventional and organically-kept apiaries. The levels of residues in conventionally managed hives were 4.58-fold higher and 4.08-fold lower for the pyrethroid fluvalinate and the organophosphate coumaphos, respectively. Two pyrethroid insecticides (fluvalinate and bifenthrin) were found in samples collected from organically-kept hives; in contrast, several classes of pesticides were detected in pollen samples from conventionally-kept hives. The highest level of residue was that of the fungicide pyraclostrobin (100 ppb). In general, pesticide residues were higher in conventional versus organically-maintained apiaries.