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      Impact of Biotic and Abiotic Stressors on Managed and Feral Bees

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      Insects

      MDPI

      bee declines, floral diversity, pesticides, parasites, competition, climate change

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          Abstract

          Large-scale declines in bee abundance and species richness over the last decade have sounded an alarm, given the crucial pollination services that bees provide. Population dips have specifically been noted for both managed and feral bee species. The simultaneous increased cultivation of bee-dependent agricultural crops has given rise to additional concern. As a result, there has been a surge in scientific research investigating the potential stressors impacting bees. A group of environmental and anthropogenic stressors negatively impacting bees has been isolated. Habitat destruction has diminished the availability of bee floral resources and nest habitats, while massive monoculture plantings have limited bee access to a variety of pollens and nectars. The rapid spread and increased resistance buildup of various bee parasites, pathogens, and pests to current control methods are implicated in deteriorating bee health. Similarly, many pesticides that are widely applied on agricultural crops and within beehives are toxic to bees. The global distribution of honey bee colonies (including queens with attendant bees) and bumble bee colonies from crop to crop for pollination events has been linked with increased pathogen stress and increased competition with native bee species for limited resources. Climatic alterations have disrupted synchronous bee emergence with flower blooming and reduced the availability of diverse floral resources, leading to bee physiological adaptations. Interactions amongst multiple stressors have created colossal maladies hitting bees at one time, and in some cases delivering additive impacts. Initiatives including the development of wild flower plantings and assessment of pesticide toxicity to bees have been undertaken in efforts to ameliorate current bee declines. In this review, recent findings regarding the impact of these stressors on bees and strategies for mitigating them are discussed.

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          Most cited references 245

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          High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North American Apiaries: Implications for Honey Bee Health

          Background Recent declines in honey bees for crop pollination threaten fruit, nut, vegetable and seed production in the United States. A broad survey of pesticide residues was conducted on samples from migratory and other beekeepers across 23 states, one Canadian province and several agricultural cropping systems during the 2007–08 growing seasons. Methodology/Principal Findings We have used LC/MS-MS and GC/MS to analyze bees and hive matrices for pesticide residues utilizing a modified QuEChERS method. We have found 121 different pesticides and metabolites within 887 wax, pollen, bee and associated hive samples. Almost 60% of the 259 wax and 350 pollen samples contained at least one systemic pesticide, and over 47% had both in-hive acaricides fluvalinate and coumaphos, and chlorothalonil, a widely-used fungicide. In bee pollen were found chlorothalonil at levels up to 99 ppm and the insecticides aldicarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid, fungicides boscalid, captan and myclobutanil, and herbicide pendimethalin at 1 ppm levels. Almost all comb and foundation wax samples (98%) were contaminated with up to 204 and 94 ppm, respectively, of fluvalinate and coumaphos, and lower amounts of amitraz degradates and chlorothalonil, with an average of 6 pesticide detections per sample and a high of 39. There were fewer pesticides found in adults and brood except for those linked with bee kills by permethrin (20 ppm) and fipronil (3.1 ppm). Conclusions/Significance The 98 pesticides and metabolites detected in mixtures up to 214 ppm in bee pollen alone represents a remarkably high level for toxicants in the brood and adult food of this primary pollinator. This represents over half of the maximum individual pesticide incidences ever reported for apiaries. While exposure to many of these neurotoxicants elicits acute and sublethal reductions in honey bee fitness, the effects of these materials in combinations and their direct association with CCD or declining bee health remains to be determined.
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            The Economic Value of Ecological Services Provided by Insects

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              Tolerance of pollination networks to species extinctions.

              Mutually beneficial interactions between flowering plants and animal pollinators represent a critical 'ecosystem service' under threat of anthropogenic extinction. We explored probable patterns of extinction in two large networks of plants and flower visitors by simulating the removal of pollinators and consequent loss of the plants that depend upon them for reproduction. For each network, we removed pollinators at random, systematically from least-linked (most specialized) to most-linked (most generalized), and systematically from most- to least-linked. Plant species diversity declined most rapidly with preferential removal of the most-linked pollinators, but declines were no worse than linear. This relative tolerance to extinction derives from redundancy in pollinators per plant and from nested topology of the networks. Tolerance in pollination networks contrasts with catastrophic declines reported from standard food webs. The discrepancy may be a result of the method used: previous studies removed species from multiple trophic levels based only on their linkage, whereas our preferential removal of pollinators reflects their greater risk of extinction relative to that of plants. In both pollination networks, the most-linked pollinators were bumble-bees and some solitary bees. These animals should receive special attention in efforts to conserve temperate pollination systems.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Insects
                Insects
                insects
                Insects
                MDPI
                2075-4450
                01 August 2019
                August 2019
                : 10
                : 8
                Affiliations
                Department of Entomology, University of Arkansas, 319 Agricultural Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: nkjoshi@ 123456uark.edu
                Article
                insects-10-00233
                10.3390/insects10080233
                6723792
                31374933
                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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