Analysis of honey bee exposure to multiple pesticide residues in the hive environment.

The Science of the Total Environment
Jinjing XiaoHaiqun Cao


Since the loss of honeybees in hives could have a greater impact on colony health than those of their foraging bees, it is imperative to know beehives' pesticide exposure via oral ingestion of contaminated in-hive matrices. Here, a 4-year monitoring survey of 64 pesticide residues in pollen, nectar and related beehive matrices (beebread and honey) from China's main honey producing areas was carried out using a modified version of the QuEChERS multi-residue method. The results showed that 93.6% of pollen, 81.5% of nectar, 96.6% of beebread, and 49.3% of honey containing at least one target pesticide were detected either at or above the method detection limits (MDLs), respectively, with up to 19 pesticides found per sample. Carbendazim was the most frequently detected pesticide (present in >85% of the samples), and pyrethroids were also abundant (median concentration = 134.3-279.0 μg/kg). The transfer of pesticides from the environment into the beehive was shown, but the pesticide transference ratio may be affected by complex factors. Although the overall risk to colony health from pesticides appears to be at an acceptable level, the hazard quotient/hazard index (HQ/HI) value revealed that pyrethroids were clearly the most influe...Continue Reading

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