Neonicotinoids Interfere with Specific Components of Navigation in Honeybees

Discussion in 'Bee News' started by Americasbeekeeper, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Neonicotinoids Interfere with Specific Components of Navigation in Honeybees
    Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection.
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0091364
     
  2. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Seems to me we all know that neonics are a pesticide and kill insects [including bees]. But intentionally poisoning them and then claiming that a certain insecticide will always do something in real conditions is a stretch. Some of us have bees next to neonic treated corn fields and see no problems. There is a degree of impact on all insecticides and some [organophosphates] are much more lethal. I've lost many hives to the organophosphates, none to neonics that I can see.