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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365844

Research Project: Cryopreservation of Bee Germplasm Research

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: The impact of thiamethoxam on drone navigation and behavior [abstract]

item NORTH, HEATHER - North Dakota State University
item CAMPION, CLAIR - North Dakota State University
item Rajamohan, Arun
item BOWSHER, JULIA - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2019
Publication Date: 7/18/2019
Citation: North, H.A., Campion, C., Rajamohan, A., Bowsher, J.H. 2019. The impact of thiamethoxam on drone navigation and behavior [abstract]. 2019 International Pollinator Conference, July 17-20, 2019, Davis, CA. p. 32.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Since the market introduction of imidacloprid, neonicotinoids have become the fastest growing class of insecticides. Neonicotinoid treated seeds give rise to plants that are protected from pests throughout the plants entire life. The plant can metabolize the neonicotinoid through all parts of the plant, including its pollen and nectar. When non-target insects such as honey bees forage on these plants they are bringing contaminated resources back to their nest for consumption. With respect to the male bees (drones), the effects of dietary thiamethoxam on their physiology and behavior has very understudied. Drones participate in mating flights with virgin queens. Since a drone’s only role is reproduction, the ability to fly and navigate to the mating congregation area (MCA) is critical for successful mating. If neonicotinoids interfere with the ability of a drone to find and navigate to the MCA, then reproduction has been disrupted before it can even take place. The overall loss of drones due to an impaired ability to navigate and or control motor function if it reaches the MCA, can lower the genetic diversity of colonies and thus impact the future success of a colony. This study aims to assess the impact of thiamethoxam on drone navigation and motor function that it will significantly affect the overall colony health and fitness.