Real-time monitoring of honeybee colony daily activity and bee loss rates can highlight the risk posed by a pesticide - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Science of the Total Environment Year : 2023

Real-time monitoring of honeybee colony daily activity and bee loss rates can highlight the risk posed by a pesticide

Ugoline Godeau
Maryline Pioz
Olivier Martin
Yves Le Conte
Cedric Alaux

Abstract

Information on honeybee foraging performance and especially bee loss rates at the colony level are crucial for evalu- ating the magnitude of effects due to pesticide exposure, thereby ensuring that protection goals for honeybee colonies are met (i.e. threshold of acceptable effects). However, current methods for monitoring honeybee foraging activity and mortality are very approximate (visual records) or are time-limited and mostly based on single cohort analysis. We therefore assess the potential of bee counters, that enable a colony-level and continuous monitoring of bee flight activ- ity and mortality, in pesticide risk assessment. After assessing the background activity and bee loss rates, we exposed colonies to two concentrations of sulfoxaflor (a neurotoxic insecticide) in sugar syrup: a concentration that was considered to be field realistic (0.59 μg/ml) and a higher concentration (2.36 μg/ml) representing a worst-case exposure scenario. We did not find any effect of the field-realistic concentration on flight activity and bee loss rates. However, a two-fold decrease in daily flight activity and a 10-fold increase in daily bee losses were detected in colonies exposed to the highest sulfoxaflor concentration as compared to before exposure. When compared to the theoretical trigger values associated with the specific protec- tion goal of 7 % colony-size reduction, the observed fold changes in daily bee losses were often found to be at risk for colonies. In conclusion, the real-time and colony-level monitoring of bee loss rates, combined with threshold values indicating at which levels bee loss rates threaten the colony, have great potential for improving regulatory pesticide risk assessments for honeybees under field conditions.
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hal-04102155 , version 1 (22-05-2023)

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Lena Barascou, Ugoline Godeau, Maryline Pioz, Olivier Martin, Deborah Sené, et al.. Real-time monitoring of honeybee colony daily activity and bee loss rates can highlight the risk posed by a pesticide. Science of the Total Environment, 2023, 886, pp.163928. ⟨10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.163928⟩. ⟨hal-04102155⟩
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