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Acute and chronic effects of agrochemicals, and their synergistic interactions, on bees: Deliverable D3.3




Kättesaadav alates


Barascou, Lena
Brown, Mark JF
Costa, Cecilia
de la Rúa, Pilar
de Miranda, Joachim
di Prisco, Gennaro
Forsgren, Eva
Gekière, Antoine
Hellström, Sara
Jürison, Margret

Ajakirja pealkiri

Ajakirja ISSN

Köite pealkiri




Inter-individual differences in pesticide sensitivity may trigger variability in the risk posed by pesticides. Therefore, to better inform pesticide risk assessment for bees, we studied the variability of responses to several pesticides based on endogenous (developmental stage, genetic background, caste) and exogenous factors (pesticide co-exposure). We mainly investigated the toxicity of the insecticide sulfoxaflor, the fungicide azoxystrobin and the herbicide glyphosate. We first used LD50 tests to determine the acute oral and contact toxicity of these pesticides across the different bee species, developmental stages (larva vs adult in honey bees), castes (honey bee and bumble bee workers, queens and drones), and genetic backgrounds (honey bee subspecies). We then considered the risks posed by chronic and sublethal exposures to pesticides by implementing behavioural and reproductive endpoints in the screening of pesticide toxicity. Data showed that azoxystrobin and glyphosate under the test conditions were mildly toxic to bees. However, a large variability in bee sensitivity to sulfoxaflor was found, especially across species and individuals of different castes or sex. This variability is therefore important to consider for increasing the safety margin of the risk posed by insecticides in bees. Several effects induced by sublethal concentrations or doses of pesticides are also described, such as the occurrence of a Non-Monotonic Dose-Response (NMDR) and delayed effects in honey bees, impairment of reproductive performances in bumble bees, and a decreased longevity of Osmia adult females (although no effects were found on larval development). Finally, an interaction between pesticides was found when exposure was by contact, but not under oral exposure. In conclusion, the range of effects described here provides very useful insights for better understanding the toxicity of pesticides and therefore the risks they might pose to bees.
Prepared under contract from the European Commission; Grant agreement No. 773921; EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation action.



honey bees, bumblebees, agrochemicals, reports


Barascou, B., Brown, M.J.F., Costa, C., de la Rúa, P., de Miranda, J., Di Prisco, G., Forsgren, E., Gekière, A., Hellström, S., Jurison, M., Le Conte, Y., Linguadoca, A ., Mahmood, F., Mand, M., Martínez-López, V., Medrzycki, P., Morrison M., Neumann, P., Onorati, P., Paxton, R., Sene, D., Siviter, H., Straw E.A., Strobl, V., Yanez, O., Alaux, C. (2022). Manuscript of acute and chronic effects of agrochemicals, and their synergistic interactions, on bees. Deliverable D3.3 EU Horizon 2020 PoshBee Project, Grant agreement No. 773921.