Modelling effects of honeybee behaviors on the distribution of pesticide in nectar within a hive and resultant in-hive exposure
Environmental Science and Technology
American Chemical Society
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Recently, the causes of honeybee colony losses have been intensely studied, showing that there are multiple stressors implicated in colony declines, one stressor being the exposure to pesticides. Measuring exposure of individual bees within a hive to pesticide is at least as difficult as assessing the potential exposure of foraging bees to pesticide. We present a model to explore how heterogeneity of pesticide distribution on a comb in the hive can be driven by worker behaviors. The model contains simplified behaviors to capture the extremes of possible heterogeneity of pesticide location/deposition within the hive to compare with exposure levels estimated by averaging values across the comb. When adults feed on nectar containing the average concentration of all pesticide brought into the hive on that particular day it is likely representative of the worst case exposure scenario. However, for larvae, clustering of pesticide in the comb can lead to higher exposure levels than taking an average concentration in some circumstances. The potential for extrapolating the model to risk assessment is discussed.
J.R. was funded to do this work on an Industrial CASE PhD studentship funded by the Biology and Biotechnology Sciences Research Council of the UK (BBSRC), and Syngenta. J.O. and M.B. were supported on BBSRC project BB/K014463/1.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the American Chemical Society via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 51 (12), pp. 6908–6917
Place of publication