Agrochemical synergism imposes higher risk to Neotropical bees than to honeybees. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Agrochemical synergism imposes higher risk to Neotropical bees than to honeybees.
R Soc Open Sci. 2017 Jan ;4(1):160866. Epub 2017 Jan 18. PMID: 28280585
Hudson V V Tomé
Bees are key pollinators whose population numbers are declining, in part, owing to the effects of different stressors such as insecticides and fungicides. We have analysed the susceptibility of the Africanized honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the stingless bee, Partamona helleri, to commercial formulations of the insecticides deltamethrin and imidacloprid. The toxicity of fungicides based on thiophanate-methyl and chlorothalonil were investigated individually and in combination, and with the insecticides. Results showed that stingless bees were more susceptible to insecticides than honeybees. The commercial fungicides thiophanate-methyl or chlorothalonil caused low mortality, regardless of concentration; however, their combination was as toxic as imidacloprid to both species, and over 400-fold more toxic than deltamethrin for A. mellifera. There were highly synergistic effects on mortality caused by interactions in the mixture of imidacloprid and the fungicides thiophanate-methyl, chlorothalonil and the combined fungicide formulation in A. mellifera, and also to a lesser extent in P. helleri. By contrast, mixtures of the deltamethrin and the combined fungicide formulation induced high synergy in P. helleri, but had little effect on the mortality of A. mellifera. Differences in physiology and modes of action of agrochemicals are discussed as key factors underlying the differences in susceptibility to agrochemicals.