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J Econ Entomol. 2002 Feb;95(1):28-35.

Effects of fluvalinate and coumaphos on queen honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in two commercial queen rearing operations.

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Los Alamos National Laboratory (University of California), NM 87545, USA.


We conducted research on the potential impacts of fluvalinate and coumaphos on honey bee, Apis mellifera L., queen viability and health. Queens were reared in colonies that had been treated with differing amounts of both fluvalinate and coumaphos. Pre- and posttreatment samples of both wax and bees were collected from all of the colonies and analyzed for total concentrations of fluvalinate and coumaphos. All queens were measured for queen weight, ovarial weight, and number of sperm in the spermathecae. The queens treated with high doses of fluvalinate weighed significantly less than low-dose or control queens, but otherwise appeared to develop normally. The highest fluvalinate concentrations were observed in the wax and queen cells of the high-dose group. The developing queens in colonies treated with as little as one coumaphos-impregnated strip for more than 24 h suffered a high mortality rate. Several of the queens showed sublethal effects from the coumaphos, including physical abnormalities and atypical behavior. The queens exposed to coumaphos weighed significantly less and had lower ovary weights than the control group queens. The highest coumaphos concentrations were observed in the queen cells and wax of the high-dose groups.

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