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Extending standard testing period in honeybees to predict lifespan impacts of pesticides and heavy metals using dynamic energy budget modelling

Hesketh, H.; Lahive, E.; Horton, A.A.; Robinson, A.G.; Svendsen, C.; Rortais, A.; Dorne, J.-L.; Baas, J.; Spurgeon, D.J.; Heard, M.S.. 2016 Extending standard testing period in honeybees to predict lifespan impacts of pesticides and heavy metals using dynamic energy budget modelling. Scientific Reports, 6, 37655. 12, pp. 10.1038/srep37655

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Abstract/Summary

Concern over reported honeybee (Apis mellifera spp.) losses has highlighted chemical exposure as a risk. Current laboratory oral toxicity tests in A. mellifera spp. use short-term, maximum 96 hour, exposures which may not necessarily account for chronic and cumulative toxicity. Here, we use extended 240 hour (10 day) exposures to examine seven agrochemicals and trace environmental pollutant toxicities for adult honeybees. Data were used to parameterise a dynamic energy budget model (DEBtox) to further examine potential survival effects up to 30 day and 90 day summer and winter worker lifespans. Honeybees were most sensitive to insecticides (clothianidin > dimethoate ≫ tau-fluvalinate), then trace metals/metalloids (cadmium, arsenic), followed by the fungicide propiconazole and herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). LC50s calculated from DEBtox parameters indicated a 27 fold change comparing exposure from 48 to 720 hours (summer worker lifespan) for cadmium, as the most time-dependent chemical as driven by slow toxicokinetics. Clothianidin and dimethoate exhibited more rapid toxicokinetics with 48 to 720 hour LC50s changes of <4 fold. As effects from long-term exposure may exceed those measured in short-term tests, future regulatory tests should extend to 96 hours as standard, with extension to 240 hour exposures further improving realism.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1038/srep37655
CEH Sections: Acreman
Pywell
Reynard
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 12 Jan 2017 10:50 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/515804

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