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Effect of sublethal doses of dicamba on honeybee cognition Público Deposited

Following the widespread weed resistance to glyphosate-based herbicides, farmers have begun to more heavily depend on alternative herbicides, such as dicamba, as substitutes for weed control. Despite extensive studies detailing the effects of pesticide exposure on the neurological functions of honeybees, no research has been conducted to investigate the effects of modern formulations of dicamba on the cognitive health of honeybees. This experiment tested the effect of sublethal doses of dicamba pesticide on the cognitive and neurological health of Apis mellifera L. honeybees. The procedure involved classically conditioning the honeybees’ Proboscis Extension Response (PER) to the scent of lemongrass. Following conditioning, experimental honeybees were exposed to sublethal levels of dicamba while control bees were exposed to pure sucrose water. Significantly fewer experimental honeybees retained their ability to display PER than control bees. Additionally, sublethal doses of dicamba negatively impacted the motor functions of the experimental honeybees as evidenced by their distinctly slowed and lethargic activity. The observed impairment of the cognitive and motor abilities of individual honeybees may have far reaching consequences at the colony level especially considering the increasing incidence of colony collapse disorder (CCD), a worldwide phenomenon that has contributed to the rapid decline of honeybee populations.

Author DOI Palavra-chave Date created Type of Work Source
  • 4502910.4079_2578-9201.1(2023).05
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