Send to

Choose Destination
Insect Sci. 2017 Jun;24(3):467-477. doi: 10.1111/1744-7917.12335. Epub 2016 May 17.

Effects of Imidacloprid and Varroa destructor on survival and health of European honey bees, Apis mellifera.

Author information

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.
USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland, USA.
Department of Microbiology & Molecular Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA.
USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, Tucson, Arizona, USA.
College of Bee Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China.


There has been growing concern over declines in populations of honey bees and other pollinators which are a vital part to our food security. It is imperative to identify factors responsible for accelerated declines in bee populations and develop solutions for reversing bee losses. While exact causes of colony losses remain elusive, risk factors thought to play key roles are ectoparasitic mites Varroa destructor and neonicotinoid pesticides. The present study aims to investigate effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide Imidacloprid and Varroa mites individually on survivorship, growth, physiology, virus dynamics and immunity of honey bee workers. Our study provides clear evidence that the exposure to sublethal doses of Imidacloprid could exert a significantly negative effect on health and survival of honey bees. We observed a significant reduction in the titer of vitellogenin (Vg), an egg yolk precursor that regulates the honey bees development and behavior and often are linked to energy homeostasis, in bees exposed to Imidacloprid. This result indicates that sublethal exposure to neonicotinoid could lead to increased energy usage in honey bees as detoxification is a energy-consuming metabolic process and suggests that Vg could be a useful biomarker for measuring levels of energy stress and sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees. Measurement of the quantitative effects of different levels of Varroa mite infestation on the replication dynamic of Deformed wing virus (DWV), an RNA virus associated with Varroa infestation, and expression level of immune genes yields unique insights into how honey bees respond to stressors under laboratory conditions.


Deformed wing virus; Imidacloprid; Varroa; honey bees; innate immunity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center