PoshBee research: Effects of products containing sulfloxaflor and azoxystrobin on bumble bees
A research article recently published in the Environmental International journal provides insight into the effects that the exposure to the product Closer containing the insecticide sulfoxaflor and the product Amistar containing the fungicide azoxystrobin has on bumble bees.
The article called "Fungicide and insecticide exposure adversely impacts bumble bees and pollination services under semi-field conditions" shows that Closer (sulfoxaflor insecticide) led to reduced colony growth, colony size and foraging in bumble bees (Bombus terrestris), and Amistar (azoxystrobin fungicide) adversely impacted bee foraging and pollination services.
Figure 1. Effects of (a) pesticide exposure, (b) flower abundance, (c) initial colony weight on bumblebee (B. terrestris) colony growth, (d) pesticide exposure on colony size. Source: Tamburini G., Pereira-Peixoto M-H., Borth J., Lotz S., Wintermantel D., Allan M.J., Dean R., Schwarz J.M., Knauer A., Albrecht M., Klein A-M. (2021). Fungicide and insecticide exposure adversely impacts bumblebees and pollination services under semi-field conditions, Environment International, Volume 157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106813
By conducting a full factorial semi-field experiment, authors of the article, amongst whom PoshBee researchers, discover that exposure to Closer and Amistar negatively affects the individual foraging performance of bumble bees. The researchers observed that insecticide exposure further reduced colony growth and size, whereas fungicide exposure led to a decrease in pollen deposition.
The research results presented in the article demonstrate that field-realistic exposure to sulfoxaflor can adversely impact bumble bees and that applications before bloom may be insufficient as a mitigation measure to prevent its negative impacts on pollinators. The findings therefore have a strong relation to agricultural policy and practice.
Read the full article here.