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Neither sulfoxaflor, Crithidia bombi, nor their combination impact bumble bee colony development or field bean pollination

Straw, E. A., Cini, E., Gold, H., Linguadoca, A., Mayne, C., Rockx, J., Brown, M. J. F., Garratt, M. P. D., Potts, S. G. ORCID: and Senapathi, D. ORCID: (2023) Neither sulfoxaflor, Crithidia bombi, nor their combination impact bumble bee colony development or field bean pollination. Scientific Reports, 13 (1). 16462. ISSN 2045-2322

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-43215-6


Many pollinators, including bumble bees, are in decline. Such declines are known to be driven by a number of interacting factors. Decreases in bee populations may also negatively impact the key ecosystem service, pollination, that they provide. Pesticides and parasites are often cited as two of the drivers of bee declines, particularly as they have previously been found to interact with one another to the detriment of bee health. Here we test the effects of an insecticide, sulfoxaflor, and a highly prevalent bumble bee parasite, Crithidia bombi, on the bumble bee Bombus terrestris. After exposing colonies to realistic doses of either sulfoxaflor and/or Crithidia bombi in a fully crossed experiment, colonies were allowed to forage on field beans in outdoor exclusion cages. Foraging performance was monitored, and the impacts on fruit set were recorded. We found no effect of either stressor, or their interaction, on the pollination services they provide to field beans, either at an individual level or a whole colony level. Further, there was no impact of any treatment, in any metric, on colony development. Our results contrast with prior findings that similar insecticides (neonicotinoids) impact pollination services, and that sulfoxaflor impacts colony development, potentially suggesting that sulfoxaflor is a less harmful compound to bee health than neonicotinoids insecticides.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Sustainable Land Management > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:113389
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group


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