Effects of 'inactive' ingredients on bees

Christopher A. Mullin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Honey bees are sensitive to widespread co-formulants used in agrochemicals, and evaluation of the role of these 'inerts or inactives' in pollinator decline is only in its formative stages. Lack of disclosure of formulation ingredients in major products and lack of adequate methods for their analysis constrain the assessment of total chemical load and agrochemical exposures on bees. Most studies to document pesticide effects on honey bees are performed without the formulation or other relevant spray adjuvant components used to environmentally apply the toxicant. Formulations are generally more toxic than active ingredients, particularly fungicides, by up to 26,000-fold based on published literature. Some 'inactive' candidates for future risk assessment for pollinators include the organosilicone surfactants and the co-solvent N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
StatePublished - Jul 6 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of 'inactive' ingredients on bees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this