Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants

Discussion in 'Bee News' started by Americasbeekeeper, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants
    Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s). The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many social interactions. Organosilicone spray adjuvants may therefore contribute to the ongoing global decline in honey bee health. Agricultural spray adjuvants – and organosilicone surfactants in particular – do indeed cause significant learning impairment when ingested by honey bees.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0040848