plos one 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (9/14/13) – Many homeowners may grimace at the sight of grubs, caterpillars or other pests lurking in their lawns, but understanding when and how to apply an insecticide to control these pests could have a big impact on native pollinator populations, according to a researcher from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
 
Jonathan Larson, a UK doctoral student, has found that when neonicotinoids, a type of systemic insecticide, are applied to flowering lawn weeds that are frequented by native bees, such as dandelions and white clovers, the chemicals can negatively impact local pollinator populations.
 
While honeybee population decline has received much attention, bumblebee numbers have also been on the decline. Much like honeybees, bumblebee population decline is related to diseases, pesticides and habitat loss or fragmentation.
 
“With honeybee populations struggling, we need to rely on native bees, such as bumblebees, to pick up the slack on plant pollination,” said Dan Potter, UK entomologist and Larson’s adviser. “Many native bees are much more efficient at pollinating certain types of crops, like tomatoes, urban flowering plants and vegetables grown in home gardens.”
 
Larson’s research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that exposure to clothianidin, a neonicotinoid insecticide, negatively affected queen production. It also slowed foraging and caused higher mortality rates in worker bees within five days after exposure at plots on UK’s Spindletop Research Farm compared to control hives. When moved to an untreated field to forage for six weeks, the bees had a hard time gaining weight compared to the controls. Bumblebees exposed to chlorantraniliprole, from a relatively new class of lawn insecticides, developed and reproduced normally compared to the control hives.
 
“We’re trying to figure out ways that people can safely use insecticides and not affect native pollinators,” Larson said. “One way may be for homeowners and commercial lawn care professionals to use the newer class of insecticide instead of a neonicotinoid to control common lawn pests. Another way could be mowing treated areas.”
 
He found that when clover flowers treated with an insecticide are removed by mowing and new flowers grew to replace them, neither insecticide adversely affected bumblebee colonies.
 
“Direct contamination of the flowers is the problem, so homeowners need to remove the flower heads of weeds either before or after applying an insecticide to prevent exposure to native pollinators,” Larson said.
 
Larson is now studying the level of insecticides present in the nectar of subsequent generations of clover flowers after the field has been treated with an insecticide and the treated flowers have been removed.

The entire PLOS ONE article is available at http://bit.ly/15S6oja. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Janie Culton

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Hopkins County Fair Underway

HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (7/27/15) — It’s not too late to enter fresh-baked goods in this year’s Hopkins County Fair as… Read More

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (7/29/15) — The 60th Annual Miss Hopkins County Fair Pageant began with thunder and lightning as 12… Read More
1 DOW 17,734.52
+104.25 (0.59%)    
2 S&P 2,103.07
+9.82 (0.47%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,096.92
+7.72 (0.15%)    

Most Read This Week

July 23, 2015 14604

UPDATE: Family Confirms Body of Missing Teen…

by Shawn Freels, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 5002

Death of Central City Man in Dawson Springs Under…

by SurfKY News
July 23, 2015 4369

Woman Accused of Striking Juvenile with Metal Belt

by SurfKY News
July 22, 2015 4344

No. 9 Steakhouse Suffers Fire; Owners Vow to…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 3596

School System Announces Free Lunch/Breakfast at…

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

July 02, 2015 19449

Emergency Response Team on Scene of Standoff on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 17, 2015 15539

Muhlenberg Most Wanted - Top 10

by SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

July 28, 2015 1769

Hanson Youth Wins Soap Box Derby World…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1578

Heavy Rains, Two Wrecks Impede WKP Travel

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1254

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 1086

Bud's Gun Shop to Re-Open Uncle Lee's

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 993

Hopkins County Misdemeanor Indictments

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 952

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 887

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
July 28, 2015 773

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by SurfKY News
July 29, 2015 682

Miss Hopkins County Fair 2015 Chosen

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
July 27, 2015 630

Hopkins County Fair Underway

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News