Using respiratory physiology techniques in assessments of pesticide effects on bees

The determination of sub-lethal effects of pesticides on beneficial insects is challenging topic because the vast
number of different possible endpoints. Traditionally measured endpoints reflect the basic outcome but do
not give any information about the mode of actions or the real non-harming dosages of the studied toxicants.
Physiological changes, however, reflect even small deviations from normal state. The gas exchange patterns
are sensitive cues to determine the sub-lethal toxicosis in insects. Methods of respiratory physiology have been
used to detect sub-lethal toxic effects of many chemicals, but information for biological preparations is also
needed, especially when bees are used in entomovectoring task.
The aims of this study were i) to clarify which are the effects of three microbiological preparations on two bee
species, honey bees Apis mellifera L. and bumble bees Bombus terrestris L. and ii) could we compare the effects
of the same preparations on different bee species. We saw that honey bees and bumble bees react similarly on
microbiological preparations, however the reaction strength differed. We found that kaolin affects the survival
of bumble bees and honey bees as much as did entomopathogenic preparations, whereas pure spores of a
non-hazardous fungus and wheat flour did not. Bumble bees seem to be more tolerant to microbiological
preparations than honey bees.

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