Climatic warming and fungicide effects on honey bees

Project: Research project

Project Details


Climatic warming and fungicide effects on honey bees Climatic warming and fungicide effects on honey bees Honey bees and other pollinators are well-documented to be experiencing serious losses that are generally believed to be caused by multiple stressors, but these remain poorly understood. With recent USDA funding, we have demonstrated that a commonly used mito-toxic fungicide has strong negative effects on worker health and colony growth at field-realistic levels, likely mediated by impairment of gut function and consequent nutritional stress. In one aim of this research, we will measure the exposure of honey bee colonies to next-generation fungicides, most of which contain active ingredients that include mitochondrial inhibitors. In a second aim, we will test the effect of one of these next-generation fungicides on the health and longevity of worker bees, colony growth and reproductive capacity, gut function and nutritional stress. Global warming is ongoing, and associated increases in the frequency, intensity and duration of heat waves are likely to pose both survival and nutritional stress on honey bee colonies. In an additional aim of this research, we will provide the first quantitative assessment of the effect of heat waves on honey bee development and health, and colonial thermoregulation and growth. Because we expect both fungicide exposure and climatic warming to act as nutritional and survival stressors, we will test for additive or synergistic interactions between warming and fungicide exposure. This research will directly address US strategic pollinator priorities by providing important missing data and predictive modeling on the effect of climatic warming and fungicide exposure on honey bee health and fitness.
Effective start/end date1/1/2212/31/24


  • USDA: National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA): $681,708.00


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