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Acute exposure to a sublethal dose of imidacloprid and coumaphos enhances olfactory learning and memory in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

Williamson SM, Baker DD, Wright GA - Invert. Neurosci. (2012)

Bottom Line: The decline of honeybees and other pollinating insects is a current cause for concern.Honeybees are also subjected to additional chemical exposure when beekeepers treat hives with acaricides to combat the mite Varroa destructor.Here, we assess the effects of acute sublethal doses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, and the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos, on honey bee learning and memory.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Medical Sciences, Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK. sally.williamson@ncl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The decline of honeybees and other pollinating insects is a current cause for concern. A major factor implicated in their decline is exposure to agricultural chemicals, in particular the neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid. Honeybees are also subjected to additional chemical exposure when beekeepers treat hives with acaricides to combat the mite Varroa destructor. Here, we assess the effects of acute sublethal doses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, and the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos, on honey bee learning and memory. Imidacloprid had little effect on performance in a six-trial olfactory conditioning assay, while coumaphos caused a modest impairment. We report a surprising lack of additive adverse effects when both compounds were administered simultaneously, which instead produced a modest improvement in learning and memory.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Memory test data: response rates to the CS are shown for the 6th training trial (white bar), the 10 min test of STM (pale grey bar), and the 24-h test of LTM (dark grey bar). a Massed training: the imidacloprid plus coumaphos treatment group showed enhanced STM relative to the control group and also performed better than the coumaphos treatment group for both STM and LTM. b Spaced training: coumaphos-treated bees showed impaired LTM relative to the controls and both other treatment groups (graphs show means ± SEMs, n ≥ 23 for all treatment groups)
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Fig3: Memory test data: response rates to the CS are shown for the 6th training trial (white bar), the 10 min test of STM (pale grey bar), and the 24-h test of LTM (dark grey bar). a Massed training: the imidacloprid plus coumaphos treatment group showed enhanced STM relative to the control group and also performed better than the coumaphos treatment group for both STM and LTM. b Spaced training: coumaphos-treated bees showed impaired LTM relative to the controls and both other treatment groups (graphs show means ± SEMs, n ≥ 23 for all treatment groups)

Mentions: The effects of pesticide treatment on olfactory STM were assessed in terms of response rate to the CS 10 min after olfactory conditioning. Acute treatment with pesticides affected STM in massed conditioned bees (Fig. 3a, binary lreg, χ32 = 14.5, P = 0.002). This effect was an improvement in STM for bees that experienced acute treatment with both imidacloprid and coumaphos relative to the control group (P = 0.005) and relative to the coumaphos treatment group (P < 0.001). However, the STM of the subjects that experienced spaced conditioning was unaffected by acute pesticide application (Fig. 3b, binary lreg, χ32 = 5.32, P = 0.150).Fig. 3


Acute exposure to a sublethal dose of imidacloprid and coumaphos enhances olfactory learning and memory in the honeybee Apis mellifera.

Williamson SM, Baker DD, Wright GA - Invert. Neurosci. (2012)

Memory test data: response rates to the CS are shown for the 6th training trial (white bar), the 10 min test of STM (pale grey bar), and the 24-h test of LTM (dark grey bar). a Massed training: the imidacloprid plus coumaphos treatment group showed enhanced STM relative to the control group and also performed better than the coumaphos treatment group for both STM and LTM. b Spaced training: coumaphos-treated bees showed impaired LTM relative to the controls and both other treatment groups (graphs show means ± SEMs, n ≥ 23 for all treatment groups)
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3672510&req=5

Fig3: Memory test data: response rates to the CS are shown for the 6th training trial (white bar), the 10 min test of STM (pale grey bar), and the 24-h test of LTM (dark grey bar). a Massed training: the imidacloprid plus coumaphos treatment group showed enhanced STM relative to the control group and also performed better than the coumaphos treatment group for both STM and LTM. b Spaced training: coumaphos-treated bees showed impaired LTM relative to the controls and both other treatment groups (graphs show means ± SEMs, n ≥ 23 for all treatment groups)
Mentions: The effects of pesticide treatment on olfactory STM were assessed in terms of response rate to the CS 10 min after olfactory conditioning. Acute treatment with pesticides affected STM in massed conditioned bees (Fig. 3a, binary lreg, χ32 = 14.5, P = 0.002). This effect was an improvement in STM for bees that experienced acute treatment with both imidacloprid and coumaphos relative to the control group (P = 0.005) and relative to the coumaphos treatment group (P < 0.001). However, the STM of the subjects that experienced spaced conditioning was unaffected by acute pesticide application (Fig. 3b, binary lreg, χ32 = 5.32, P = 0.150).Fig. 3

Bottom Line: The decline of honeybees and other pollinating insects is a current cause for concern.Honeybees are also subjected to additional chemical exposure when beekeepers treat hives with acaricides to combat the mite Varroa destructor.Here, we assess the effects of acute sublethal doses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, and the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos, on honey bee learning and memory.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Faculty of Medical Sciences, Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK. sally.williamson@ncl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The decline of honeybees and other pollinating insects is a current cause for concern. A major factor implicated in their decline is exposure to agricultural chemicals, in particular the neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid. Honeybees are also subjected to additional chemical exposure when beekeepers treat hives with acaricides to combat the mite Varroa destructor. Here, we assess the effects of acute sublethal doses of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, and the organophosphate acaricide coumaphos, on honey bee learning and memory. Imidacloprid had little effect on performance in a six-trial olfactory conditioning assay, while coumaphos caused a modest impairment. We report a surprising lack of additive adverse effects when both compounds were administered simultaneously, which instead produced a modest improvement in learning and memory.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus