Toxic responses of blue orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria) following contact exposure to neonicotinoids, macrocyclic lactones, and pyrethroids

Eric M. Peterson, Frank B. Green, Philip N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Analysis of particulate matter originating from beef cattle feed yards on the High Plains of the United States has revealed occurrence of multiple pesticides believed to potentially impact non-Apis pollinators. Among these pesticides are those that are highly toxic to Apis mellifera (honey bees). However, little non-Apis bee species toxicity data exist; especially pertaining to beef cattle feed yard-derived pesticides. Therefore, we conducted a series of 96-h contact toxicity tests with blue orchard mason bees (Osmia lignaria) using three neonicotinoids, two pyrethroids, and two macrocyclic lactones. Neonicotinoids (thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, and clothianidin) were most toxic with LD50 values ranging from 2.88 to 26.35 ng/bee, respectively. Macrocyclic lactones (abamectin and ivermectin) were also highly toxic to O. lignaria with LD50 estimates of 5.51–32.86 ng/bee. Pyrethroids (permethrin and bifenthrin) were relatively less toxic with LD50 values greater than 33 ng/bee. Sensitivity ratios for each pesticide were calculated to relate O. lignaria LD50 values to existing honey bee toxicity data. All three neonicotinoids were more toxic to O. lignaria than A. mellifera, but pyrethroids and abamectin were relatively less toxic. Additionally, three of seven pesticides (43%) resulted in significantly different mass normalized LD50 values for male and female O. lignaria. These results indicate that non-Apis pollinators may be highly susceptible to pesticides originating from beef cattle feed yards, necessitating consideration of more stringent regulatory protections than those based on A. mellifera pesticide sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111681
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Volume208
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2021

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