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Effect of Fifteen Combinations of Four Management Methods on Losses of Honey Bees Caused by Spraying Insecticides on Cotton

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an attempt to reduce losses of Apis mellifera L. from insecticides, all possible combinations of 4 management practices (covering with burlap, pollen feeding, providing shade, and using a Wardecker waterer) were tested on 160 colonies near Casa Blanca, Ariz. The colonies were located in 3 apiaries in or near a 162-ha block of cotton that was sprayed 11 times between July 11 and Oct. 15, 1977, with various combinations of 6 insecticides. Two other treatments, involving a porch and a porch plus covering, also were tested with 20 colonies and were ineffective in reducing bee losses.

Covering, pollen, and water treatments were ca. equally valuable, while shade was helpful but less important. Combinations of treatments were better than single treatments, except when colonies had Wardecker waterers, then shade was of no additional value.

Although all colonies suffered severe losses from the sprayings, between 80 and 100% of the colonies receiving the better protection survived compared to ca. 20% in the check and in the ineffective treatments. Most of the colonies that survived the sprayings lived through the winter (96 of 102), and their queens laid well and did not appear to be permanently damaged. Colonies in an apiary at the edge of the cotton fields suffered less damage than similar colonies located in the middle of the sprayed field.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1979

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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