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Science. 2017 Jun 30;356(6345):1393-1395. doi: 10.1126/science.aaa1190.

Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees.

Author information

1
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK. bawood@ceh.ac.uk.
2
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB, UK.
3
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster LA1 4AP, UK.
4
Szent István University, 2103 Gödöllö, Hungary.
5
Am-Heidehof 44, 14163 Berlin, Germany.
6
Leaside, Carron Lane, West Sussex GU29 9LB, UK.
7
Institute for Bee Research, 16540 Hohen-Neuendorf, Germany.
8
Eurofins, Ecotox-GmbH, 75223 Niefern-Öoschelbronn, Germany.

Abstract

Neonicotinoid seed dressings have caused concern world-wide. We use large field experiments to assess the effects of neonicotinoid-treated crops on three bee species across three countries (Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom). Winter-sown oilseed rape was grown commercially with either seed coatings containing neonicotinoids (clothianidin or thiamethoxam) or no seed treatment (control). For honey bees, we found both negative (Hungary and United Kingdom) and positive (Germany) effects during crop flowering. In Hungary, negative effects on honey bees (associated with clothianidin) persisted over winter and resulted in smaller colonies in the following spring (24% declines). In wild bees (Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis), reproduction was negatively correlated with neonicotinoid residues. These findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure.

Comment in

PMID:
28663502
DOI:
10.1126/science.aaa1190
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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