Using video-tracking to assess sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees (Apis mellifera L.)

Bethany S. Teeters, Reed M. Johnson, Marion D. Ellis, Blair D. Siegfried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Concern about the role of pesticides in honey bee decline has highlighted the need to examine the effects of sublethal exposure on bee behaviors. The video-tracking system EthoVisionXT (Noldus Information Technologies) was used to measure the effects of sublethal exposure to tau-fluvalinate and imidacloprid on honey bee locomotion, interactions, and time spent near a food source over a 24-h observation period. Bees were either treated topically with 0.3, 1.5, and 3μg tau-fluvalinate or exposed to 0.05, 0.5, 5.0, 50, and 500 ppb imidacloprid in a sugar agar cube. Tau-fluvalinate caused a significant reduction in distance moved at all dose levels (p<0.05), as did 50 and 500 ppb imidacloprid (p<0.001). Bees exposed to 50 and 500 ppb spent significantly more time near the food source than control bees (p<0.05). Interaction time decreased as time in the food zone increased for both chemicals. This study documents that video-tracking of bee behavior can enhance current protocols for measuring the effects of pesticides on honey bees at sublethal levels. It may provide a means of identifying problematic compounds for further testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1349-1354
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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