African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578

Full Length Research Paper

Toxicity of neonicotinoids used in melon culture towards Apis mellifera L.

Whalamys Lourenco de Araujo
  • Whalamys Lourenco de Araujo
  • Agronomy Department, Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB), Paraíba, Brazil.
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Mauricio Sekiguchi de Godoy
  • Mauricio Sekiguchi de Godoy
  • Department of Plant Sciences, Federal University of Semiarid (UFERSA), Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
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Patricio Borges Maracaja
  • Patricio Borges Maracaja
  • Academic Unit of Agricultural Sciences (UAGRA), Federal University of Campina Grande, Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil.
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Wesley Adson Costa Coelho
  • Wesley Adson Costa Coelho
  • Veterinary Medicine Department, Federal University of Semiarid (UFERSA), Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
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Barbara Karine de Albuquerque Silva
  • Barbara Karine de Albuquerque Silva
  • Graduate Program in Plant Science, Federal University of Semiarid (UFERSA), Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
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Adrian Jose Molina Rugama
  • Adrian Jose Molina Rugama
  • Department of Plant Sciences, Federal University of Semiarid (UFERSA), Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
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Elton Lucio de Araujo
  • Elton Lucio de Araujo
  • Department of Plant Sciences, Federal University of Semiarid (UFERSA), Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
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Jacinto de Luna Batista
  • Jacinto de Luna Batista
  • Agricultural Science Center (CCA), Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB), Paraíba, Brazil.
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  •  Received: 18 October 2016
  •  Accepted: 30 January 2017
  •  Published: 06 April 2017

Abstract

The cultivation of melon (Cucumis melo L.) is of great importance to the Brazilian economy, especially the semiarid regions of the Northeast region. Damage caused by pests have hindered the production, requiring that control measures be adopted, among them applications of chemical insecticides, including neonicotinoids. Studies have shown collateral damage to beneficial insects such as bees, important pollinators for 90% of angiosperms, especially melon. The objective of this study was to evaluate the toxicity on melon crops of neonicotinoids used to control pests related to honeybee, Apis mellifera L. Bioassays were performed in the laboratory. The mortality of specimens over time when contaminated with the products thiamethoxam, midaclopride and acetamiprid (two commercial products by different companies) was evaluated. The exposure of bees to the compounds was performed by food ingestion (sugar candy) contaminated with the lowest and highest doses recommended by the manufacturers. Regardless of the dose, all insecticides were toxic, decreasing up to 11 days the useful life of bees as compared to the control (water + sugar candy), which survived 18 days on average. 
 
Key words: Contamination, pollinators, bees, Cucumis melo L.