Toxicity assessment of chronic exposure to common insecticides and bee medications on colony development and drones sperm parameters

Ben Abdelkader F., ÇAKMAK İ. , Cakmak S. S. , NUR Z. , Incebiyik E., Aktar A., ...More

ECOTOXICOLOGY, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10646-021-02416-3
  • Title of Journal : ECOTOXICOLOGY


The effect of agrochemicals and beekeeping treatments on drones have not been widely investigated compared to workers or queens. In the present study, we investigated the chronic exposure of chemicals set (deltamethrin, acetamiprid, oxalic acid, fumagillin, and amitraz) on some sperm parameters and on the histomorphology of seminal vesicles. We also assessed the colony development and nosema load before and after the exposure. Thirty native Apis mellifera anatolica honeybee colonies with sister queens equalized with brood and total frame of bees were used for this experiment. Five colonies were used for each group. Deltamethrin, acetamiprid and fumagillin were given as oral chronic exposure at final concentrations of 25.10(-6) mg L-1, 0.01 m L-1 and 50 mg L-1 respectively in syrup solution (50/50). Colonies were exposed to oxalic acid by spraying 5 mL per frame space of 3% (w/v) of oxalic acid dihydrate. Finally, the amitraz was applied based on the manufacturer's instructions. The concentrations chosen represented the field-realistic concentrations and those used by beekeepers in the region. Results showed that deltamethrin reduced brood production. In the same group, we found a high increase in nosema load. All treatments decreased sperm count except for fumagillin but this compound increased sperm mortality and increased the percentage of sperm with defected acrosome integrity. The amitraz exhibited a high sperm mortality and high percentage of sperm with defected membrane integrity function. The sperm parameters such as the count, the motility, the acrosome integrity, the membrane function of sperm, and the histomorphology of seminal vesicles of drones exposed to oxalic acid were the most affected. Bee medications commonly used such as oxalic acid and fumagillin should be more investigated and should be considered by beekeepers and particularly queen breeders.