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Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, April 2015
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (96th percentile)

Citations

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143 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
689 Mendeley
citeulike
2 CiteULike
Title
Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides
Published in
Nature, April 2015
DOI 10.1038/nature14414
Pubmed ID
Authors

Sébastien C. Kessler, Erin Jo Tiedeken, Kerry L. Simcock, Sophie Derveau, Jessica Mitchell, Samantha Softley, Amy Radcliffe, Jane C. Stout, Geraldine A. Wright

Abstract

The impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on insect pollinators is highly controversial. Sublethal concentrations alter the behaviour of social bees and reduce survival of entire colonies. However, critics argue that the reported negative effects only arise from neonicotinoid concentrations that are greater than those found in the nectar and pollen of pesticide-treated plants. Furthermore, it has been suggested that bees could choose to forage on other available flowers and hence avoid or dilute exposure. Here, using a two-choice feeding assay, we show that the honeybee, Apis mellifera, and the buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris, do not avoid nectar-relevant concentrations of three of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO), in food. Moreover, bees of both species prefer to eat more of sucrose solutions laced with IMD or TMX than sucrose alone. Stimulation with IMD, TMX and CLO neither elicited spiking responses from gustatory neurons in the bees' mouthparts, nor inhibited the responses of sucrose-sensitive neurons. Our data indicate that bees cannot taste neonicotinoids and are not repelled by them. Instead, bees preferred solutions containing IMD or TMX, even though the consumption of these pesticides caused them to eat less food overall. This work shows that bees cannot control their exposure to neonicotinoids in food and implies that treating flowering crops with IMD and TMX presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 301 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 689 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 6 <1%
Germany 4 <1%
United Kingdom 4 <1%
France 3 <1%
Canada 3 <1%
Chile 2 <1%
Brazil 2 <1%
Belgium 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Other 4 <1%
Unknown 659 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 160 23%
Researcher 119 17%
Student > Master 111 16%
Student > Bachelor 110 16%
Unspecified 38 6%
Other 151 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 397 58%
Environmental Science 105 15%
Unspecified 66 10%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 35 5%
Chemistry 24 3%
Other 62 9%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 732. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 10 February 2019.
All research outputs
#6,945
of 12,988,245 outputs
Outputs from Nature
#1,102
of 68,354 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#149
of 225,780 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
#40
of 1,024 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,988,245 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 68,354 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 74.2. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 225,780 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1,024 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.