Hummingbirds and bumble bees exposed to neonicotinoid and organophosphate insecticides in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada.
Environ Toxicol Chem. 2018 08 ;37(8):2143-2152. Epub 2018 Jul 5. PMID: 29974994
Christine A Bishop
To measure exposure to neonicotinoid and other pesticides in avian pollinators, we made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from rufous (Selasphorus rufus) and Anna's (Calypte anna) hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in the Fraser River Valley and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. To examine on-farm exposure to pesticides in invertebrate pollinators, we also collected bumble bees native to Canada (Bombus mixtus, Bombus flavifrons, and Bombus melanopygus), their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms. By sites and sample type, the results reported in the present study represent pooled samples (n = 1). In 2015 to 2016, the combined concentration of the neonicotinoid insecticides imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, and clothianidin detected in hummingbird cloacal fluid from sites near conventionally sprayed blueberry fields was 3.63 ng/mL (ppb). Among the 18 compounds measured in fecal pellets, including one neonicotinoid (imidacloprid), only piperonyl butoxide was detected (1.47-5.96 ng/g). Piperonyl butoxide is a cytochrome P450 inhibitor applied with some insecticides to increase their toxic efficacy. Only diazinon was detected in bumble bees (0.197 ng/g), whereas diazinon (1.54-1.7 ng/g) and imidacloprid (up to 18.4 ng/g) were detected in pollen collected from bumble bees including the bees from organic sites located near conventionally sprayed blueberry farms. Imidacloprid was also detected at 5.16 ng/g in blueberry flowers collected 1 yr post spray from 1 of 6 conventionally sprayed blueberry farms. Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;37:2143-2152. © 2018 SETAC.