Abstract. The main objective of this study was to test comparatively the effects of two common insecticides on honey bee Apis mellifera worker’s lifespan, food consumption, mortality, and expression of antioxidant genes. Newly emerged worker bees were exposed to organophosphate insecticide coumaphos, a neonicotinoid imidacloprid, and their mixtures. Toxicity tests were conducted along with bee midgut immunohistological TUNEL analyses. RT-qPCR assessed the regulation of 10 bee antioxidant genes linked to pesticide toxicity. We tested coumaphos at 92,600 ppb concentration, in combination with 5 and 20 ppb imidacloprid. Coumaphos induced significantly higher bee mortality, which was associated with down regulation of catalase compared to coumaphos and imidacloprid (5/20 ppb) mixtures, whereas, both imidacloprid concentrations independently had no effect on bee mortality. Mixture of coumaphos and imidacloprid reduced daily bee consumption of a control food patty to 10 mg from a coumaphos intake of 14.3 mg and 18.4 and 13.7 mg for imidacloprid (5 and 20) ppb, respectively. While coumaphos and imidacloprid mixtures induced down-regulation of antioxidant genes with noticeable midgut tissue damage, imidacloprid induced intensive gene up-regulations with less midgut apoptosis.
Effects of coumaphos and imidacloprid on honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) lifespan and antioxidant gene regulations inlaboratory experiments
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