Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 19;9(3):e91364. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091364. eCollection 2014.

Neonicotinoids interfere with specific components of navigation in honeybees.

Author information

1
Institut für Bienenkunde Oberursel, Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main, Fachbereich Biowissenschaften, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
2
Netzwerk Blühende Landschaften Fischermühle, Rosenfeld, Germany.
3
Institut für Biologie, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Three neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiacloprid, agonists of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the central brain of insects, were applied at non-lethal doses in order to test their effects on honeybee navigation. A catch-and-release experimental design was applied in which feeder trained bees were caught when arriving at the feeder, treated with one of the neonicotinoids, and released 1.5 hours later at a remote site. The flight paths of individual bees were tracked with harmonic radar. The initial flight phase controlled by the recently acquired navigation memory (vector memory) was less compromised than the second phase that leads the animal back to the hive (homing flight). The rate of successful return was significantly lower in treated bees, the probability of a correct turn at a salient landscape structure was reduced, and less directed flights during homing flights were performed. Since the homing phase in catch-and-release experiments documents the ability of a foraging honeybee to activate a remote memory acquired during its exploratory orientation flights, we conclude that non-lethal doses of the three neonicotinoids tested either block the retrieval of exploratory navigation memory or alter this form of navigation memory. These findings are discussed in the context of the application of neonicotinoids in plant protection.

PMID:
24646521
PMCID:
PMC3960126
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0091364
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center