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Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2004 Mar;57(3):410-9.

Effects of imidacloprid and deltamethrin on associative learning in honeybees under semi-field and laboratory conditions.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie Comparée des Invertébrés, INRA, BP 23, 91440 Bures-sur-Yvette, France.


We have compared the sublethal effects of two insecticides in the honeybee (imidacloprid and deltamethrin) in both semi-field and laboratory conditions. A sugar solution containing 24 microg kg(-1) of imidacloprid or 500 microg kg(-1) of deltamethrin was offered to a colony set in an outdoor flight cage. In contrast to imidacloprid, deltamethrin had lethal effect on workers bees. The contamination of syrup with imidacloprid or deltamethrin induced a decrease in both the foraging activity on the food source and activity at the hive entrance. Negative effects of imidacloprid were also observed in an olfactory learnt discrimination task. Free-flying foragers were taken from the contaminated feeder and subjected to a conditioned proboscis extension response (PER) assay under laboratory conditions. As with free-flying bees, no impact of deltamethrin was found on the learning performances of restrained individuals in the PER procedure, whilst significant effects were found with imidacloprid in both semi-field and laboratory conditions.

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