Sex, age and caste

The sex, age, and caste of the insect can influence the impact of the toxin on the individual. For insects, males generally are more susceptible to insecticides than females and newly emerged adults often are more susceptible than older ones (Hodgson, 2004). After emergence, the age-susceptibility relation is variable depending on the target species and toxin. These factors are tightly linked in a social insect colony like the honey bee colony since one female is responsible for egg production while many others perform other activities (some depending on age). To a lesser extent, the same occurs with males; the young male bees remain in the hive while older ones fly outside (Tautz, 2009). The susceptibility to toxins increases with age when bees are nearly inactive gathered in a winter cluster, (Wahl and Ulm, 1983). Thus, it can be more pertinent to consider the social function of the individual than its sex and age when considering toxin impacts on the organism.