Faculty Advisor

Gegear, Robert J.

Abstract

We conducted a series of controlled laboratory experiments to test the hypothesis that exposure to systemic neonicotinoid pesticide residues in floral nectar reduces bumblebee health. We found that chronic consumption of environmentally realistic doses of a commonly used systemic neonicotinoid pesticide significantly increased mortality in queen, worker, and male bumblebees. Alarmingly, mortality increases occurred after just a few pesticide exposures. These results implicate pesticide exposure in recent bumblebee declines, filling an important gap in pollinator conservation research.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2013

Major

Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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