A fuzzy bumble bee nestles into a red-orange flower

Journal Club Article for April 15, 2022

This Fri­day, April 15, 2022, from 12–1pm EDT, we will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing. The arti­cle is titled “The Util­i­ty of a Bum­ble Bee (Bom­bus spp. [Hymenoptera: Api­dae]) Brood Test for Eval­u­at­ing the Effects of Pes­ti­cides” and will be pre­sent­ed by STEM Research intern Orlan­do Alves Junior.

Abstract: Risk assess­ment for chem­i­cals in the Unit­ed States relies upon the hon­ey bee (Apis melif­fera L. [Hymenoptera: Api­dae]) as a sur­ro­gate for oth­er bee species. There is uncer­tain­ty in extrap­o­lat­ing hon­ey bee tox­i­c­i­ty data to bum­ble bees due to dif­fer­ences in life his­to­ry strate­gies, food con­sump­tion, and nest struc­ture. Here we eval­u­at­ed the design of a queen­less bum­ble bee micro­colony test that could be con­sid­ered for gen­er­at­ing lar­val tox­i­c­i­ty data. Three micro­colony stud­ies were con­duct­ed with Bom­bus impa­tiens to eval­u­ate the effects of expo­sure to 1) difluben­zuron in pollen, 2) dimethoate in pollen, and 3) dimethoate in sucrose. Imma­ture drone bee emer­gence, work­er sur­vival, pollen, and sucrose uti­liza­tion were mea­sured through­out the study dura­tion. For dimethoate, a 10‑d chron­ic adult bum­ble bee study was also con­duct­ed to com­pare micro­colony end­points to tox­i­c­i­ty end­points on indi­vid­ual adults. Micro­colonies exposed to 10 mg diflubenzuron/kg pollen pro­duced few­er adult drones despite no effects on work­er sur­vival. Micro­colonies treat­ed with dimethoate at ≥3 mg a.i./kg pollen and ≥0.1 mg a.i./kg sucrose solu­tion pro­duced few­er drones. Expo­sure to dimethoate in the 10‑d chron­ic adult study result­ed in direct mor­tal­i­ty to the adult work­ers at ≥0.1 mg a.i./kg diet. Results from the 10‑d study sug­gest direct effects of dimethoate on work­ers in the micro­colony will alter pro­vi­sion­ing of diet to the brood, result­ing in low­er drone pro­duc­tion in the micro­colony. Our data sug­gest that the micro­colony study is only appro­pri­ate to assess brood effects to bum­ble bees for sub­stances with low tox­i­c­i­ty to adults, as demon­strat­ed with diflubenzuron.


Meet­ing ID: 549 554 5262

Mas­sas­oit STEM events are open to ALL Mas­sas­oit stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff.

Mas­sas­oit Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege encour­ages per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in its pro­grams and activ­i­ties. If you antic­i­pate need­ing any type of accom­mo­da­tion or have ques­tions relat­ed to access for this event, please con­tact the Divi­sion of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics at sciencemath@massasoit.edu in advance of your par­tic­i­pa­tion or visit.

Pho­to by Eel­co Böhtlingk on Unsplash

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