Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.compag.2024.108966
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Honeybee pollen but not nectar foraging greatly reduced by neonicotinoids: Insights from AI and simulation
Author Wang, M.; Tausch, F.; Schmidt, K.; Diehl, M.; Knaebe, S.; Bargen, H.; Materne, L.; Groeneveld, J.; Grimm, V.
Source Titel Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
Year 2024
Department OESA
Volume 221
Page From art. 108966
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords highlight; Automated monitoring; Computational modelling; Foraging behaviour; Oomen study; Pesticide risk assessment; Sub-lethal effects
Abstract Honeybees (Apis mellifera) as pollinators are of economic and ecological importance to global agriculture and natural ecosystems. However, honeybees are being threatened by highly effective pesticides such as neonicotinoids, which can have detrimental impacts on honeybee foraging in particular. In a colony, nectar and pollen foragers play distinct roles in sustaining the colony. Despite evidence of sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids on individual honeybees, little is known about how neonicotinoids affect the foraging behaviour of an entire colony. Here, we conducted a field study using our innovative artificial intelligence (AI)-based automated monitoring technology to investigate the effects of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid at field-realistic sub-lethal doses on colony foraging behaviour. A mechanistic simulation model (BEEHAVE) was then used to reproduce and interpret field observations, and further identify the plausible mechanisms underlying the empirical findings. Surprisingly, the field study revealed that imidacloprid greatly reduced pollen foraging but not nectar foraging. In addition, no lethal effects on honeybees were observed. The simulations showed that the time spent by pollen foragers on completing their foraging trips was significantly increased, which subsequently decreased the number of pollen foraging trips per day, thereby reducing pollen foraging at the colony level. This suggests that pollen and nectar foraging may require different energetic costs, cognitive functions, and/or gene expressions, which implies different susceptibilities of pollen and nectar foragers to chemical stressors. As pollen foraging is essential for brood rearing, exposure to sub-lethal concentrations of neonicotinoids, together with other stressors, may affect colony survival and resilience more than previously thought.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Wang, M., Tausch, F., Schmidt, K., Diehl, M., Knaebe, S., Bargen, H., Materne, L., Groeneveld, J., Grimm, V. (2024):
Honeybee pollen but not nectar foraging greatly reduced by neonicotinoids: Insights from AI and simulation
Comput. Electron. Agric. 221 , art. 108966 10.1016/j.compag.2024.108966