Insecticide shows no impact on bumblebee activity

Flowering winter oilseed rape seeds treated with the insecticide thiamethoxam may not be harmful to bumblebees, according to Pest Management Science researchers. 

Field conditions were replicated for the research with seeds treated with thiamethoxam and with seeds not treated by the insecticide. There was no difference noticed between the two bumblebee groups' colony development.

“These data are from one treated and two control fields in an isolated landscape with limited alternative forage; however, high levels of exposure were identified with an average of 70 percent of the pollen in the treated colonies originating from the adjacent winter oilseed rape field,” Dr. Helen Thompson, lead author of the Pest Management Science study, said. “We consider these data add to the weight of evidence that, under field conditions, there are no effects of thiamethoxam use as a seed treatment on winter oilseed rape on bumblebee colony development or forager activity.”

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