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Goals and Objective: Goal 1
Objective 1.8

Obj 1.8: Determine sublethal effects of pesticides on bees exposed to pesticides and selected combinations of pesticides during larval development and the nurse bee stage

(Frazier)

Rationale and significance 
Based on analysis of over 700 wax, pollen, and bee samples to date, an average of six different pesticide residues have been found in bee bread from beekeepers across the country. Pesticide frequency and levels are even higher in bees wax combs. Under these conditions, developing bees are being chronically exposed to high levels of pesticides through the consumption of contaminated pollen and contact with pesticide-contaminated comb. Nurse bees consuming large quantities of pollen in order to activate their brood food glands in preparation for brood rearing are also consuming high levels of pesticides. Exposure to pesticides during larval development and during the nurse bee stage is likely to have negative consequences on behavior and physiology later in the bee’s life and for the colony as a whole. 

Expected outcomes
To determine:

  1. if one or more of the pesticides commonly found in pollen have sub-lethal impacts on honey bee larval development or survival,
  2. if one or more of the pesticides commonly found in pollen have synergistic effects in combinations of 2-6 components on honey bee larval development or survival,
  3. if adult nurse bees developing from larvae fed one or more of the pesticides commonly found in pollen have altered behaviors of pollen consumption, trophallaxis, or brood tending on single comb assays,
  4. if adult nurse bees developing from larvae fed one or more of the pesticides commonly found in pollen have altered associative learning and retention capabilities,
  5. if adult nurse bees developing from larvae fed one or more of the pesticides commonly found in pollen have altered ovarial development, and
  6. if adult nurse bees developing from larvae fed combinations of 2-6 components have altered behaviors or physiology as indicated in outcomes 3-5.
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Pesticide sub-objectives

  • 1.6. Elucidate synergistic and sub-lethal effects of in-hive miticides on colony health
  • 1.7. Determine sub-lethal effects of pesticide metabolites on physiological and behavioral systems
  • 1.8. Determine sub-lethal effects of pesticides on bees exposed to pesticides and selected combinations of pesticides during larval development and the nurse bee stage

Workers across these objectives are aware of the need to coordinate with fellows in Objective 1.2E to provide optimum pesticides and dosages for studies on interactions of pathogens with toxins.

Summary Statement for Goal 1
This goal constitutes our attempts at understanding the most important morbidity factors at work in North American Apis mellifera. Work in this Goal is characterized by a high degree of interinstitutional linkages within CAP labs, resulting in four topical groups. The Nosema group is comprised of Lee Solter (Univ IL), Tom Webster (KY State Univ), Zach Huang (MI State), Christina Grozinger (Penn State), and Kate Aronstein (ARS Weslaco). The virus group is made up of Jay Evans and Judy Chen (ARS Beltsville) and Lee Solter. There have been cross-group linkages with Greg Hunt (Purdue) who is studying the genetic basis of bee resistance to N. ceranae and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV). A diagnostics group is comprised of Jay Evans, Judy Chen, and Kate Aronstein. The toxicology group is comprised of Marion Ellis (Univ NB), Maryann Frazier, Jim Frazier, and Chris Mullin (Penn State). A sentinel apiary monitoring group, led by Frank Drummond (Univ. of Maine), is comprised of Nancy Ostiguy (Penn State), Marla Spivak (Univ. of Minn.), Kate Aronstein (ARS Weslaco), Sheppard (Univ. of Wash.), Kirk Visscher (Univ. of CA - Riverside); analytic work by Anne Averill (Univ. of Mass.), Nancy Ostiguy (Penn State), and Brian Eitzer (CT Experiment Station) is collecting baseline data on field colonies and factors contributing to bee morbidity. And finally, an IPM adoption group is headed up by Keith Delaplane (Univ GA).

Progress

Methodology, data and analysis of results to date are shared in an annual report to USDA. Papers generated by team members during the time of the CAP are listed and periodically updated below. Beyond the citation of published papers, the consensus of the group is that it would otherwise be unhelpful or possibly misleading to state preliminary results within the context on this web site.

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Publications of objective 1.8 principal investigator (M. Frazier) to date during the CAP

Cox-Foster, D. L., M. Frazier, J. Frazier and C. Mullin. 2011. Loss of honey bee colonies: Unraveling the interactions between pathogens and pesticides. In: North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow, Galveston, TX. American Bee Journal, 151(4) (Abstract)

Frazier, J.L., M.T. Frazier, C.A. Mullin and W. Zhu. 2011. Does the reproductive ground
plan hypothesis offer a mechanistic basis for understanding honey bee health? In:
American Bee Research Conference, Galveston, TX. American Bee Journal,
151(4)

Frazier, M.T., S. Ashcraft, W. Zhu, and J. Frazier. 2011. Assessing the reduction of field
populations in honey bee colonies pollinating nine different crops. In: American Bee Research Conference, Galveston, TX. American Bee Journal, 151(4) (Abstract)

Frazier, J., C. Mullin, M. Frazier, and S. Ashcraft. 2011. Pesticides and their involvement in Colony Collapse Disorder. American Bee Journal, 151(8):779-781.

Johnson, R.M., M.D. Ellis, C.A. Mullin, M. Frazier. (ed. Samataro) Book: ”Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable solutions” Book chapter 14, Pesticides and Bee Toxicity - U.S.A Taylor and Francis, LLC, (accepted, 2011)

Mullin, C.A., J.L. Frazier, M.T. Frazier and T.J. Ciarlo. 2011. A primer on 'inerts' and honey bees. In: American Bee Research Conference, Galveston, TX. American Bee Journal, 151(4) (Abstract)

vanEngelsdorp,  D., N. Speybroeck, J.D. Evans, B.K. Nguyen, C. Mullin, M. Frazier, J. Frazier, D. Cox-Foster, Y.P. Chen, D.R. Tarpy, E. Haubruge, J.S. Pettis, C. Saegerman. 2010.  Identification of risk factors associated with bee Colony Collapse Disorder by classification and regression tree analysis. J. Econ Entomol, 103: 1517-1523

Further Background Information
Documentation of CAP progress in general, and of this objective in particular, is available through the following sources:

  1. Bee Health, an eXention initiative for peer-reviewed scientific recommendations
  2. Colony Collapse Disorder Progress Report for 2009
  3. When Varroacides Interact
  4. Pesticides Applied to Crops and Honey Bee Toxicity
  5. Wild Bee Status and Evidence for Pathogen 'Spillover' with Honey Bees
  6. Assessing the Risks of Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides
  7. Pesticides and their involvement in Colony Collapse Disorder

Updated August 19, 2011.

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