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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

Assessing memory specificity using a novel odour test: response rates are shown for both conditioned (solid colour bar) and novel (striped bar) odours. Acute pesticide treatments did not affect STM specificity after either a massed or b spaced training, and all groups were able to discriminate between the two odours. Acute treatment with imidacloprid, or combined imidacloprid and coumaphos, enhanced LTM specificity after both c massed and d spaced training (graphs show means ± SEMs, n ≥ 23 for all treatment groups)
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Fig4: Assessing memory specificity using a novel odour test: response rates are shown for both conditioned (solid colour bar) and novel (striped bar) odours. Acute pesticide treatments did not affect STM specificity after either a massed or b spaced training, and all groups were able to discriminate between the two odours. Acute treatment with imidacloprid, or combined imidacloprid and coumaphos, enhanced LTM specificity after both c massed and d spaced training (graphs show means ± SEMs, n ≥ 23 for all treatment groups)

Mentions: Acute pesticide exposure did not influence the bees’ ability to discriminate between the CS and a novel odour at the STM time point (Fig. 4a, b, massed, binary lreg, χ32 = 3.98, P = 0.264); spaced, (binary lreg, χ32 = 1.24, P = 0.744).Fig. 4


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)

Assessing memory specificity using a novel odour test: response rates are shown for both conditioned (solid colour bar) and novel (striped bar) odours. Acute pesticide treatments did not affect STM specificity after either a massed or b spaced training, and all groups were able to discriminate between the two odours. Acute treatment with imidacloprid, or combined imidacloprid and coumaphos, enhanced LTM specificity after both c massed and d spaced training (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

Fig4: Assessing memory specificity using a novel odour test: response rates are shown for both conditioned (solid colour bar) and novel (striped bar) odours. Acute pesticide treatments did not affect STM specificity after either a massed or b spaced training, and all groups were able to discriminate between the two odours. Acute treatment with imidacloprid, or combined imidacloprid and coumaphos, enhanced LTM specificity after both c massed and d spaced training (graphs show means ± SEMs, n ≥ 23 for all treatment groups)
Mentions: Acute pesticide exposure did not influence the bees’ ability to discriminate between the CS and a novel odour at the STM time point (Fig. 4a, b, massed, binary lreg, χ32 = 3.98, P = 0.264); spaced, (binary lreg, χ32 = 1.24, P = 0.744).Fig. 4

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