Side effects of sulfoxaflor on Bombus terrestris (L.) (Hymenoptera, Apidae) in protected tomato crop


Abstract: In order to evaluate the side-effects of sulfoxaflor on colonies of Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera, Apidae), two trials were conducted in south-eastern Sicily (Italy), in greenhouse-grown tomato crops. Biological parameters indicating the health status of the bumble bee colonies, such as their flight activity, the number of visited flowers or the weight of their hives and sugar solution food supply were measured. Additionally, observations on the final status of colonies (compared to the initial one) were made. During both tests, sulfoxaflor was compared with imidacloprid, flonicamid and an untreated test. Sulfoxaflor and flonicamid did not produce negative effects in overall bee health, relative to the untreated. In contrast, imidacloprid depressed the activity of pollinators. The results confirm that sulfoxaflor can be considered for its inclusion in IPM programs in protected tomato crops, even when use of B. terrestris is planned.

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