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J Environ Sci Health B. 2011;46(6):469-72. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2011.583848.

Preliminary study on persistence in soil and residues in maize of imidacloprid.

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Agricultural Research Council, Plant Pathology Research Center, Rome, Italy.


The aim of this work was to study the distribution of imidacloprid in soil and its translocation to roots and aerial parts of maize plant. The main objective was to assess imidacloprid residues in field environment, in order to provide data on honeybees exposure level to such an active substance. Imidacloprid has been detected and quantified by Triple Quadrupole HPLC-MS-MS. Pesticide persistence in the soil and its residues in pollen and in maize plants have been evaluated during the growing of maize plants developed from seeds dressed with Gaucho 350 FS (imidacloprid: 1.0 mg/seed). The sowing has been performed by means of a pneumatic precision drill. Samples have been collected at 30, 45, 60, 80, 130 days after the sowing, as pollen samples have been collected at the tasseling. Imidacloprid presence in aerial part of maize plant declined to 2-3 μg/kg 80 days after the sowing, while concentration in kernel at harvest was <1 μg/kg. Maize pollen represents an important part of protein supply of beehives, and it is of critical importance to bee foraging. The values detected (imidacloprid residues <1 μg/kg) showed that maize pollen source should not be relevant for acute toxicity impact on honey bees.

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