12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumble bee colo...
View graph of relations

« Back

Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumble bee colony growth and queen production

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date20/04/2012
JournalScience
Journal number6079
Volume336
Number of pages2
Pages351-352
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Growing evidence for declines in bee populations has caused great concern because of the valuable ecosystem services they provide. Neonicotinoid insecticides have been implicated in these declines because they occur at trace levels in the nectar and pollen of crop plants. We exposed colonies of the bumble bee Bombus terrestris in the laboratory to field-realistic levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, then allowed them to develop naturally under field conditions. Treated colonies had a significantly reduced growth rate and suffered an 85% reduction in production of new queens compared with control colonies. Given the scale of use of neonicotinoids, we suggest that they may be having a considerable negative impact on wild bumble bee populations across the developed world.