When worker honey bees, Apis mellifera L., were exposed to sublethal pesticide concentrations, the majority of tests revealed no significant differences between control and treatment groups in the ages when tasks were conducted. Longevity was the most consistently affected category studied, with division-of-labor tasks not consistently affected. Single exposures to various concentrations of diazinon reduced longevity in one case and altered task performance in three cases-"clean," "entrance," and "forage." In experiments that exposed workers once, twice, or three times to acetone or a dose of diazinon causing approximately 10% mortality, a number of adverse effects were seen; the majority were in the single-exposure groups. Longevity was reduced in two cases, and certain temporal division- of-labor tasks were adversely affected, especially nectar handling and foraging. Treatment age had a significant effect on the results, with workers treated at emergence being more sensitive to pesticide exposure than older workers (14 of the 20 significant results reported). Stress in the form of pesticide exposure and handling appears to be more harmful to newly emerged bees than any other age group. Longevity and foraging measures hold promise as potential methods of evaluating sublethal pesticide stress on the honey bee worker.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: February 1, 1989
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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.