Pesticide Exposure Disrupts Bumblebee Nest Behavior

November 9, 2018
James Crall QR Code Tagged Bees for Science Magazine

Postdoc, James Crall joined former PhD student, Callin Switzer ('17, Hopkins Lab) and OEB professors, Benjamin de Bivort and Naomi Pierce to investigate the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on the bumblebee's nest behavior. Previous studies showed the pesticides reduced colony size, but how the reduction occurred was not known. In their study published in Science, the researchers used an automated, robotic platform for continuous monitoring of worker's behavior in the colony. They discovered that following pesticide exposure, bees spent less time nursing larvare and were less social with other bees, often shifting from the nest's center to the periphery. Media: The Harvard GazetteScience Daily


Image: QR Tagged Bumble Bee courtesy of James Crall