Monitoring Neonicotinoid Exposure for Bees in Rural and Peri-urban Areas of the U.K. during the Transition from Pre- to Post-moratorium

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Nicholls, E., Botias, C., Rotheray, E. L., Whitehorn, P., David, A., Fowler, R., David, T., Feltham, H., Swain, J. L., Wells, P., Hill, E. M., Osborne, J. L. and Goulson, D. 2018. Monitoring Neonicotinoid Exposure for Bees in Rural and Peri-urban Areas of the U.K. during the Transition from Pre- to Post-moratorium. Environmental Science & Technology. 52 (16), pp. 9391-9402. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b06573

AuthorsNicholls, E., Botias, C., Rotheray, E. L., Whitehorn, P., David, A., Fowler, R., David, T., Feltham, H., Swain, J. L., Wells, P., Hill, E. M., Osborne, J. L. and Goulson, D.
Abstract

Concerns regarding the impact of neonicotinoid exposure on bee populations recently led to an EU-wide moratorium on the use of certain neonicotinoids on flowering crops. Currently, evidence regarding the impact, if any, the moratorium has had on bees’ exposure is limited. We sampled pollen and nectar from bumblebee colonies in rural and peri-urban habitats in three U.K. regions: Stirlingshire, Hertfordshire, and Sussex. Colonies were sampled over three years: prior to the ban (2013), during the initial implementation when some seed-treated winter-sown oilseed rape was still grown (2014), and following the ban (2015). To compare species-level differences, in 2014 only, honeybee colonies in rural habitats were also sampled. Over half of all samples were found to be contaminated (n = 408), with thiamethoxam being the compound detected at the highest concentrations in honeybee- (up to 2.29 ng/g in nectar in 2014, median ≤ 0.1 ng/g, n = 79) and bumblebee-collected pollen and nectar (up to 38.77 ng/g in pollen in 2013, median ≤ 0.12 ng/g, n = 76). Honeybees were exposed to higher concentrations of neonicotinoids than bumblebees in 2014. While neonicotinoid exposure for rural bumblebees declined post-ban (2015), suggesting a positive impact of the moratorium, the risk of neonicotinoid exposure for bumblebees in peri-urban habitats remained largely the same between 2013 and 2015.

Year of Publication2018
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Journal citation52 (16), pp. 9391-9402
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b06573
PubMed IDACS
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Funder project or codeA systems approach to understanding the impacts of sublethal doses of neonicotinoids on bumblebee and honeybees
BB/J014915/1
PS2372
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Jun 2019
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN0013-936X

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