Effect of reduced risk pesticides for use in greenhouse vegetable production on Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
Background: Bumble bees [Bombus impatiens (Cresson)] are widely used for supplemental pollination of greenhouse vegetables and are at risk of pesticide exposure while foraging. The objective of this study was to determine the lethal and sub-lethal effects of four insecticides (imidacloprid, abamectin, metaflumizone and chlorantraniliprole) and three fungicides (myclobutanil, potassium bicarbonate and cyprodinil + fludioxonil) used or with potential for use in Ontario greenhouse vegetable production to B. impatiens. Results: Imidacloprid, abamectin, and metaflumizone were harmful to worker bees following direct contact, while chlorantraniliprole and all fungicides tested were harmless. Worker bees fed imidacloprid contaminated pollen had shortened life spans andwere unable to produce brood.Worker bees consumed less pollen contaminatedwith abamectin. Metaflumizone,chlorantraniliprole and all fungicides tested caused no sub-lethal effects in bumble bee micro-colonies. Conclusion: We conclude that the new reduced risk insecticides metaflumizone and chlorantraniliprole and the fungicides myclobutanil, potassium bicarbonate and cyprodinil + fludioxonil are safe for greenhouse use in the presence of bumble bees. This information can be used preserve greenhouse pollination programs while maintaining acceptable pest management.