LD50 values may be misleading predictors of neonicotinoid toxicity across different bee species
Mayack, Christopher and Boff, Samuel (2019) LD50 values may be misleading predictors of neonicotinoid toxicity across different bee species. Uludağ Arıcılık Dergisi, 19 (1). pp. 19-33. ISSN 1303-0248
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.31467/uluaricilik.568251
The importance of not only honey bees (Apis mellifera) but also other non-managed bee species and their pollination services has come to light with their recently reported declines. One contributing factor in these declines is thought to be sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides such as thiacloprid. However, current government regulatory agencies do not require the assessment of insecticide toxicity on bee species other than the honey bee, even though previous studies have demonstrated that sensitivity to insecticides is not likely to be generalizable from honey bees to non-managed bee species. Replicating standardized protocols and testing five different doses of thiacloprid on individual caged bees, we assessed the acute contact toxicity by calculating mortality and the lethal dose (LD50) value for three bee species with different life history traits: Apis mellifera, Bombus terrestris, and Osmia bicornis. We found that Apis mellifera and Osmia bicornis had significantly higher mortality in comparison to Bombus terrestris, but there was no dose-dependent response for any of the three bee species. Bee size and sex were also not useful predictors of thiacloprid toxicity. These results suggest that solely relying on LD50 values, especially when they do not produce a dose-dependent response, may be misleading when assessing insecticide toxicity risk for honey bees and other non-managed bee species.
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