Current risk assessment strategies for honey bees rely heavily upon laboratory tests performed on adult or immature worker bees, but these methods may not accurately capture the effects of agrochemical exposure on honey bee queens. As the sole producer of fertilized eggs inside a honeybee colony, the queen is arguably the most important single member of a functioning colony unit. Therefore, understanding how agrochemicals affect queen health and productivity should be considered a critical aspect of pesticide risk assessment. Here, an adapted method is presented to expose honey bee queens and worker queen attendants to agrochemical stressors administered through a worker diet, followed by tracking egg production in the laboratory and assessing first instar eclosion using a specialized cage, referred to as a Queen Monitoring Cage. To illustrate the method's intended use, results of an experiment in which worker queen attendants were fed diet containing sublethal doses of imidacloprid and effects on queens were monitored are described.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)