Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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

© 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.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
1 DOW 18,132.70
-81.72 (-0.45%)    
2 S&P 2,104.50
-6.24 (-0.30%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,963.53
-24.36 (-0.49%)    
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 7956

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 7112

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 6963

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 6834

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 6529

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 6059

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

February 28, 2015 3331

City's Parking Ordinances to be Strictly Enforced…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 2642

AIRPLAY: Travis Dukes Makes Stop for Jam Session

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 2355

Local Church Hosting Spring Campmeeting

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 28, 2015 2051

Market Commentary - Feb. 28, 2015

in Top News For All Sites by Randall L. Franklin
February 28, 2015 1756

Keeping the Faith - 'The Fewer the Words the…

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
February 28, 2015 1726

UK Athletics to Deepen Investment in Center for…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
February 28, 2015 1715

Hooked on Science - 'Scribblebot'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
February 28, 2015 1676

Whitfield Meets with American Physical Therapy…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Hankins
February 28, 2015 1614

Happenings, Meetings Listed for Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 1384

HCCHS Student Has Unique Eye for Art

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News