Data from: General and species-specific impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on the ovary development and feeding of wild bumblebee queens
Baron, Gemma L.; Raine, Nigel E.; Brown, Mark J.F.; Brown, Mark J. F. (2017), Data from: General and species-specific impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on the ovary development and feeding of wild bumblebee queens, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h3c18
Bumblebees are essential pollinators of crops and wild plants, but are in decline across the globe. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as a potential driver of these declines, but most of our evidence base comes from studies of a single species. There is an urgent need to understand whether such results can be generalized across a range of species. Here, we present results of a laboratory experiment testing the impacts of field-relevant doses (1.87–5.32 ppb) of the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam on spring-caught wild queens of four bumblebee species: Bombus terrestris, B. lucorum, B. pratorum and B. pascuorum. Two weeks of exposure to the higher concentration of thiamethoxam caused a reduction in feeding in two out of four species, suggesting species-specific anti-feedant, repellency or toxicity effects. The higher level of thiamethoxam exposure resulted in a reduction in the average length of terminal oocytes in queens of all four species. In addition to providing the first evidence for general effects of neonicotinoids on ovary development in multiple species of wild bumblebee queens, the discovery of species-specific effects on feeding has significant implications for current practices and policy for pesticide risk assessment and use.