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Bees and Pesticides

Bees and Pesticides

photo from Ohio State University



Smarter pest control: The pesticide paradox  (Science, Aug 2013, Enserink et al )

Wildlife Ecotoxicology of Pesticides:Can We Track Effects to thePopulation Level and Beyond?   (Science, Aug 2013, Kohler and Triebskorn)

Return of our agricultural system from collapse   (Scientific American, Sept 2013, Rosner)

The Plight of the Honeybee:Mass deaths in bee colonies may mean disaster for farmers--and your favorite foods  (Time, Aug 2013)

Science Collapse Disorder -- The Real Story Behind Neonics And Mass Bee Deaths   (Forbes 2013)

Pesticides under fire for risks to  pollinators   (Science May 2013)


The disappearance of the bees and potential affects of neonicotinyl insecticides on bees highlights the question as to whether our risk assessment approach is adequate.


Topics listed below, scroll down:

University and Extension


Neonicotinoid Reviews

Bee Colony Health, Foraging, and Routes of Exposure








University and Extension:

USDA NRI Managed Pollinator CAP program (eXtension)

USDA Bee health (eXtension)

Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Pollinator Protection Program (eXtension)

Beekeeping: Protecting Honey Bees from Pesticides (Purdue University 2012)

Ready to use consumer insecticides and their toxicity to bees (University of Minnesota 2012)

Assessing the Risks of Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides (Managed Pollinator CAP 2011)

Names of General Use Insecticides (University of Illinois 2011)

Wild pollinators of eastern apple orchards and how to conserve them (Cornel University 2012)

Protecting Pollinators: Why and How Pesticide Applicators Can Help Them (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC))

How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides (Oregon State University 2006)

Protecting Honey Bees from Pesticides (University of Florida)


2012 Beekeepers Petition EPA to Stop Clothianidin Sales:

Clothianidin Petition to EPA (Beekeepers)

EPA's Response Letter to Clothianidin Petition (EPA)

New York State:

Denial of Applications to Register the New Active Ingredient Dinotefuran... (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2008)

Denial of Application for Registration of Four New Pesticide Products,...Which Contain the New Active Ingredient Clothianidin (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2007)

Major Change in Labeling (MCL) Application to Register Three New Pesticide Products (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2007)

Withdrawal of Application for Registration of the New Product Poncho 600...Which Contains the New Active Ingredient Clothianidin (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2005)

Imidacloprid - Registration of New Imidacloprid Products in New York State as Restricted-Use Products (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 2004)

Imidacloprid: Best Management Practices for Long Island, New York: Agricultural Uses (Cornell Cooperative Extension & Bayer CropScience 2004)

Imidacloprid: Best Management Practices for Long Island, New York: Arboricultural Uses (Cornell Cooperative Extension & Bayer CropScience 2004)

Imidacloprid: Best Management Practices for Long Island, New York: Professional Turf Uses (Cornell Cooperative Extension & Bayer CropScience 2004)

California Department of Pesticide Regulation:

Detections of the Neonicotinoid Insecticide Imidacloprid in Surface Waters of Three Agricultural Regions of California, USA, 2010-2011 (Starner & Goh 2012)

Semiannual report summarizing the reevaluation status of pesticide products during the period of January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011 (2011)

Notice of decision to initiate reevaluation of chemicals in the nitroguanidine insecticide class of neonicotinoids (2009)

Environmental Fate of Imidacloprid (Fossen 2006)

Environmental Fate of Imidacloprid (Bacey)

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Pesticide Considerations For Native Bees In Agroforestry (USDA National Agroforestry Center 2007)

Imidacloprid - Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment - Final Report (USDA Forest Service 2005)

Neonicotinoid Reviews:

Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment (Blacquiere et al. 2012)

Overview of Recent Publications on Neonicotinoids and Pollinators (Heintzelman et al. 2012)

A response to a recent review of publications on neonicotinoids and pollinators prepared by Heintzelman, Kelly, Fischer and Maus (dated 23 May 2012) (Krupke 2012)

A Critique of Dr. Richard Heintzelman, Dr. Iain D. Kelly, Dr. David L. Fischer, Dr. Christian Maus, 23 May 2012 Overview of Recent Publications on Neonicotinoids and Pollinators (Frazier 2012)

Bee Colony Health, Foraging, and Routes of Exposure to Chemicals:

Honey Bee Colony:

Dietary traces of neonicotinoid pesticides as a cause of population declines in honey bees: an evaluation by Hill's epidemiological criteria (Cresswell et al. 2012)

In situ replication of honey bee colony collapse disorder (Lu et al. 2012)

High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North American Apiaries: Implications for Honey Bee Health (Mullin et al. 2010)

Use Patterns of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Cucurbit Crops and their Potential Exposure to Honey Bees (Dively & Hooks 2009)

Exposure to Clothianidin Seed-Treated Canola Has No Long-Term Impact on Honey Bees (Cutler & Scott-Dupree 2007)

Behaviour of Imidacloprid in Fields. Toxicity for Honey Bees (Bonmatin et al. 2005)

Modes of honeybees exposure to systemic insecticides: estimated amounts of contaminated pollen and nectar consumed by different categories of bees (Rortais et al. 2005)

Statistical analysis of honeybee survival after chronic exposure to insecticides (Dechaume Moncharmont et al. 2003)

Honey Bee Foraging:

Learning Impairment in Honey Bees Caused by Agricultural Spray Adjuvants (Ciarlo et al. 2012)

A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees (Henry et al. 2012) Supplementary Materials

RFID Tracking of Sublethal Effects of Two Neonicotinoid Insecticides on the Foraging Behavior of Apis mellifera (Schneider et al. 2012)

Honeybee tracking with microchips: a new methodology to measure the effects of pesticides (Decourtye et al. 2011)

Power Point: Assessment of Sublethal Effects of Imidacloprid on Honey Bee Colony Health (Dively et al. 2008)

Abnormal Foraging Behavior Induced by Sublethal Dosage of Imidacloprid in the Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) (Yang et al. 2008)

Effects of Cry1Ab protoxin, deltamethrin and imidacloprid on the foraging activity and the learning performances of the honeybee Apis mellifera, a comparative approach (Ramirez-Romero et al. 2005)

A Method to Quantify and Analyze the Foraging Activity of Honey Bees: Relevance to the Sublethal Effects Induced by Systemic Insecticides (Colin et al. 2004)

Imidacloprid impairs memory and brain metabolism in the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) (Decourtye et al. 2004)

Effects of imidacloprid and deltamethrin on associative learning in honeybees under semi-field and laboratory conditions (Decourtye et al. 2004)

Effects of imidacloprid administered in sub-lethal doses on honey bee behaviour. Laboratory tests (Medrzycki et al. 2003)

Bumble Bee Colony:

Thompson 2013 - Effects of neonicotinoids seed treatments on bumble bee colonies under field conditions.pdf  (Thompson 2013)

Combined pesticide exposure severely affects individual- and colony-level traits in bees (Gill et al. 2012)

Effects of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid pesticide, on reproduction in worker bumble bees (Bombus terrestris) (Laycock et al. 2012)

Field Research on Bees Raises Concern About Low-Dose Pesticides (Stokstad 2012)

Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production (Whitehorn et al. 2012) Supplementary Materials

Lethal and sublethal side-effect assessment supports a more benign profile of spinetoram compared with spinosad in the bumblebee Bombus terrestris (Besard et al. 2011)

Risk assessment for side-effects of neonicotinoids against bumblebees with and without impairing foraging behavior (Mommaerts et al. 2010)

Impact of Currently Used or Potentially Useful Insecticides for Canola Agroecosystems on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Megachile rotundata (Hymentoptera: Megachilidae), and Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) (Scott-Dupree et al. 2009)

Bumblebees can be used in combination with juvenile hormone analogues and ecdysone agonists (Mommaerts et al. 2006)

Importation of Non-Native Bumble Bees into North America: Potential Consequences of Using Bombus terrestris and Other Non-Native Bumble Bees for Greenhouse Crop Pollination in Canada, Mexico, and the United States (NAPPC 2006)

An extended laboratory test to evaluate the effects of pesticides on bumblebees. Preliminary results (Incerti et al. 2003)

Hazards of Insecticides to the Bumble Bees Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Foraging on Flowering White Clover in Turf (Gels et al. 2002)

Sub-lethal effects of imidacloprid on bumblebees, Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae), during a laboratory feeding test (Tasei et al. 2000)

Bumble Bee Foraging/ Colony:

Effect of reduced risk pesticides for use in greenhouse vegetable production on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) (Gradish et al. 2009)

Wild bee abundance and seed production in conventional, organic, and genetically modified canola (Morandin & Winston 2005)

Effects of Clothianidin on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colony Health and Foraging Ability (Franklin et al. 2004)

Effects of Novel Pesticides on Bumble Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Colony Health and Foraging Ability (Morandin & Winston 2003)


Imidacloprid in Melon Guttation Fluid: A Potential Mode of Exposure for Pest and Beneficial Organisms (Hoffmann & Castle 2012)

Translocation of Neonicotinoid Insecticides From Coated Seeds to Seedling Guttation Drops: A Novel Way of Intoxication for Bees (Girolami et al. 2009)

Seed Treatments:

Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields (Krupke et al. 2012)

Assessment of the Environmental Exposure of Honeybees to Particulate Matter Containing Neonicotinoid Insecticides Coming from Corn Coated Seeds (Tapparo et al. 2012)

Lethal aerial powdering of honey bees with neonicotinoids from fragments of maize seed coat (Marzaro et al. 2011)



Beyond Pesticides since 1981is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., which works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN North America, or PANNA)  since 1982 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit incorporated in California. PANNA works to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives.

Beyond Pesticides:

Bayer And Syngenta, Pesticides Companies, Suggest Bee Health Proposal To Avoid Product Ban (2013)

EU Commission Takes Steps To Suspend Bee-Toxic Pesticides (2013)

Study Shows Honey Bees Exposed to High Levels of Bee-Killing Pesticide (2012)

Pesticide Toxic to Bees and Aquatic Life Contaminates Surface Waters (2012)

Two Studies Link Pesticides to Bee Health, Strengthen Case for Ban (2012)

Research Shows Imidacloprid Depresses Honey Bee Feeding and Communication  (2012)

Protecting Pollinators: Stopping the Demise of Bees (2011)

Pollinators and Pesticides: Escalating crisis demands action (2008)

Beekeepers and Environmentalists File Legal Petition to Stop Pesticide Linked to Bee Deaths

Protecting honey bees and wild pollinators: What can you do?

Pollinators and Pesticides: Protecting honeybees and wild pollinators (brochure)

Chemicals Implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder

Imidacloprid: A Beyond Pesticides Factsheet

The Minnesota Honey Bee Battle: MN Supreme Court protects pollinators from pesticides (Beyond Pesticides & National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides 2006)

Honey Bees and Pesticides: Protecting pollinators is vital to American agriculture (Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, & PAN North America)

Pesticide Action Network, North America (PAN North America):

Beekeepers and Public Interest Groups Sue EPA Over Bee-Toxic Pesticides (PAN North America, Center for Food Safety, & Beyond Pesticides 2013)

Clothianidin & CCD: Fact Sheet (PAN North America & Beyond Pesticides)

What's the buzz in Britain? (criticism of UK) (2013)

Pesticides and Honey Bees: State of the Science (2012)

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC):

The truth about the neonicotinoid insecticides (Fischer & Moriarty 2011)

Pesticide Risk Assessment for Pollinators: Summary of a SETAC Pellston Workshop (15-21 January 2011) (Fischer & Moriarty 2011)

Conservation Groups:

Capitol Hill Briefing on Neonicotinoids, Birds, and Bees (Wildlife Society News 2013)

The Impact of the Nation's Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds (American Bird Conservancy 2013)

Birds, Bees, and Aquatic Life Threatened by Gross Underestimate of Toxicity of World's Most Widely Used Pesticide (American Bird Conservancy 2013)

Not Just the Bees: Bayer's Pesticide May Harm Birds, Too (Mother Jones 2013)

Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees? (Xerces Society 2012)

Organic-Approved Pesticides: Minimizing Risks to Pollinators (Xerces Society 2009)

News Articles:

Calamity for Our Most Beneficent Insect (New York Times 2013)

Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms (New York Times 2013)

 Value of Bees * Types of Bees * CCD * Conservation * Plants for Pollinators * Bumble Bees * EPA * European Union * Workshop * Research

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Last modified on April 07, 2014