Data from: Bumblebees can be exposed to the herbicide glyphosate whilst foraging
Cite this dataset
Thompson, Linzi Jay et al. (2022). Data from: Bumblebees can be exposed to the herbicide glyphosate whilst foraging [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vdncjsxxz
Bee declines are attributed to multiple factors, one of which is the use of pesticides. However, there is very little research surround the effects of non-insecticidal pesticides on bees. Herbicides are one of the most applied pesticide groups globally, with glyphosate being one of the most applied pesticides in the world. When herbicides are applied to plants, the plant typically dies a few days later. In the period between herbicide application and plant death it is unknown if bumblebees would choose to forage on the herbicide treated plants, especially if there is uncontaminated healthy forage available. This dataset shows the frequency and duration of bumblebee interactions with glyphosate treated and control plants in a choice test, observing how individual foragers interacted with plants. In a second experiment, data was collected on the availability of nectar and pollen in glyphosate treated plants over a 5-6 day period, to help determine if resources remain available for bees to collect whilst the plant was dying. We observed that bees chose to forage on both glyphosate treated and control plants indiscriminately. We also observed that bees spent significantly less time collecting nectar from each individual flower indicating a potential deterrent effect. We also found that over time, plants had a lower standing crop of nectar after treatment with glyphosate. These results suggest that bees could be exposed to herbicide whilst foraging in the environment.
Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine