Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Pesticide and resource stressors additively impair wild bee reproduction


Stuligross, Clara; Williams, Neal (2020), Pesticide and resource stressors additively impair wild bee reproduction, Dryad, Dataset,


Bees and other beneficial insects experience multiple stressors within agricultural landscapes that act together to impact their health and diminish their ability to deliver the ecosystem services on which human food supplies depend. Disentangling the effects of coupled stressors is a primary challenge for understanding how to promote their populations and ensure robust pollination and other ecosystem services. We used a crossed design to quantify the individual and combined effects of food resource limitation and pesticide exposure on the survival, nesting, and reproduction of the blue orchard bee Osmia lignaria. Nesting females in large flight cages accessed wildflowers at high or low densities, treated with or without the common insecticide, imidacloprid. Pesticides and resource limitation acted additively to dramatically reduce reproduction in free-flying bees. Our results emphasize the importance of considering multiple drivers to inform population persistence, management, and risk assessment for the long-term sustainability of food production and natural ecosystems.