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Hong Kong Polytechnic University

2017-2018 (Semester 1)

 ELC3121 English for Scientific Communication

Neonicotinoid Reduces Honeybee Health

Which Helps the Growth in Crops


Inhaltsverzeichnis

1. Introduction. 3

2. Methods 4

2.1 Group members’ participation. 4

2.2 Methods of the experiments 5

2.3 Methods used to gather data in results section. 5

3. Results 6

3.1 Country-specific response of neonicotinoid. 6

3.2 Chronic exposure reduced health of honeybees 7

3.3 Low risk for Bombus impatiens 9

3.4 Beneficial to wheat and oilseed rape. 10

4. Discussion. 11

5. Conclusion. 12

Reference. 13

1. Introduction

The proper use of neonicotinoid in crops is especially crucial because of the main role and function of this pesticide in seed coating and the control of soil insects, foliar insects, and some detrimental pests that jeopardize the growth of crops.

Nevertheless, the use of neonicotinoid could pose a threat to honey bees, leading to the decline of pollinators as well as crop yield. In recent years, the possibility that the reduction on the lifespan of honeybees by neonicotinoid, might further decreased crop yield was suggested. From then on, substantial research work such as A field study examining the effects of exposure to neonicotinoid seed-treated corn on commercial bumble bee colonies (Christopher & Cynthia, 2014) has been dedicated to investigating the influences of variable concentration of neonicotinoid on crops, yet there is still not common acceptance as to whether neonicotinoid can cause genuine decline of honeybees and thus the crop yield.

Most researches like Risks of neonicotinoid insecticides to honeybees (Fairbrother, Purdy, Anderson & Fell, 2014) and Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybees and wild bees (Woodcock et al., 2017) in past few years have resolved this question by measuring either the population of honeybees or crop yield upon the treatment with neonicotinoid.

Few studies have been conducted to approach the problem from correlating the mortality in honeybees with crop yield. It is inadequate to know about the crop pollens propagated by honeybees when neonicotinoid is used.

This research will examine the crop yield accompanied with mortality of honeybees upon the use of neonicotinoid. Firstly, general terms regarding neonicotinoid and its chemical structure will be explained and the practical condition of analytical methods .....[read full text]

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2.2 Methods of the experiments

This scientific report is going to analyze the dilemma between high crop yield and the mortality of honeybees. In order to find out the relationship between crop yield and neonicotinoid, it was necessary to know the quantity of neonicotinoid added to the crops.

The quantity of neonicotinoid added was required to justify that whether the yield of the crops was directly proportional to the amount of neonicotinoid. Additionally, the health of honeybees was a perfect evidence to reveal the negative effects of neonicotinoid. By comparing the advantages of having higher crop yield and the disadvantages that exposed to the health of honey bees, restrictions on the neonicotinoid can be determined to impose or not.

2.3 Methods used to gather data in results section

In order to gather the data, a series of experiments had been done by researchers. One kind of neonicotinoid was added at around 12 to 18 grams of active ingredient per hectare as a pesticide to detect the response of the bees.

To identify the impact of neonicotinoid exposure, experimenters had removed sealed brood from the treated colonies and controlled them after the first 3 weeks of exposure. In addition, pollens were shed to corn plants grown from neonicotinoid-treated conventional seed to observe the health conditions of the Bombus impatiens. Furthermore, comparing the statistical data of neonicotinoid applied and the yield of wheat and oilseed rape from 1984 to 2010, it was able to determine whether the applied neonicotinoid was beneficial.


3. Results

3.1 Country-specific response of neonicotinoid

Colony size was used to illustrate the amount of honeybees and wild bees by pooled standard deviation, instead of counting individually, which saved a lot of time. The asterisk (*) indicated a significant difference between the control and seed treatment determined from the pre.....

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3.2 Chronic exposure reduced health of honeybees

Clothianidin is a kind of neonicotinoid that functions as pesticide. The reducing health condition of honeybees can be observed by hygienic behavior.

Fig.2 Chronic exposure of clothianidin harm health of honeybees.

Adapted from: Tsvetkov, N., Samson, O., Sood, K., Patel, H., Malena, D., Gajiwala, P., Maciukiewicz, P., … Zayed, A. (2017).

Hygienic behavior implied the ability of bees that help them to resist the adversity in nature. It could be seen from Figure 2C that there was a substantial fall of hygienic behavior of colonies of honeybees from 45% to 35% under chronic exposure of clothianidin, compared with unexposed.

According to Figure 2B, it uncovered the negative correlation between hygienic behavior of colonies of honeybees and time. In addition, the drop of hygienic behavior of colonies of honeybees was significant from approximately 90% to 40% after 90 days.


3.3 Low risk for Bombus impatiens

Bombus impatiens is a common species of honeybees. Effects (mean ± SD) on commercial Bombus impatiens colonies when exposed during pollen shed to corn grown from ne.....

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Adapted from: Goulson, D. (2013).


Fig 3b. The relationship between year and the yield of wheat and oilseed rape

Adapted from: Goulson, D. (2013).


According to Figure 3a, the positive relationship between neonicotinoid and year has been shown. In particular, the weight of neonicotinoid applied increased from 0 to approximately 85000 kg during 1992 to 2010. Figure 3b uncovered the increasing trend between yield of different crops (wheat and oilseed rape) and year.

Specifically, the yield of wheat and oilseed rape climb from 6.7 to 8.0 tonnes per ha and 3.0 to 3.2 tonnes per ha respectively. Combining the two figures, it was found that the more amount of neonicotinoids used, the more yield can be obtained. Therefore, neonicotinoids were beneficial to wheats and oilseed rapes.


4. Discussion

It is reported that using neonicotinoid in agriculture will lead to a decrease in colony size of honeybees. The reason can be explained that it will impair their somatic function as it is a neurotoxicant which will disrupt the functions of neural system (Fair.....

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It is probably beneficial to the growth of crops effectively as the insects will not damage them. This can explain the reason why the crop yield is directly proportional to the amount of neonicotinoid that used.


5. Conclusion

In this report, neonicotinoid was discharged to the environment. Impacts on the bees population and hygienic behavior were found in different countries. As for the health condition of honeybees, the crop yield and amount of neonicotinoid used were analyzed by the researchers.

It was found that the response of honeybees to neonicotinoid was country-specific. In addition, chronic exposure of neonicotinoids reduced health of honeybees. Furthermore, the results uncovered that neonicotinoids were beneficial to crops yield. With the experimental reference, neonicotinoid could bring negative effect on colony size of honeybees as it could damage their neural system that will affect their growth.

Also, it was reported that neonicotinoid could decrease their hygienic behavior, which disrupted their immune system. It suggested, therefore, they would die easily. For the reason why neonicotinoid was beneficial to crops yield is that it could protect the crops from insects. A more thorough field study is required to explain how the mortality of honeybees are increased by using neonicotinoid to further reduce the crop yield.

Investigation of the crop pollens propagated pathways for the honeybees’ pollination activity in the release of ne.....

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Woodcock, B., Bullock, J., Shore, R., Heard, M., Pereira, M., Redhead, J., Ridding, L., …

     Pywell, L. (2017). Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and

     wild bees. Science (New York, N.Y.), 356(6345), 1393-1395. Retrieved from

     



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