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Impact of controlled neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees in a realistic field setting [Journal of Applied Ecology]

Keywords : Bombus terrestris audax, bumblebees, clothianidin, colony growth, ecotoxicological guidelines, field setting ; foraging ecology ; neonicotinoid ; pesticide ; pollinators

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

1. Pesticide exposure has been implicated as a contributor to insect pollinator declines. In social bees, which are crucial pollination service providers, the effect of low-level chronic exposure is typically non-lethal leading researchers to consider whether exposure induces sublethal effects on behaviour and whether such impairment can affect colony development.
2. Studies under laboratory conditions can control levels of pesticide exposure and elucidate causative effects, but are often criticized for being unrealistic. In contrast, field studies can monitor bee responses under a more realistic pesticide exposure landscape ; yet typically such findings are limited to correlative results and can lack true controls or sufficient replication. We attempt to bridge this gap by exposing bumblebees to known amounts of pesticides when colonies are placed in the field.(...)

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