An international research team -- Drs. Stephan Caravalho, Luc Belzunces and colleagues from Universidade Federal de Lavras in Brazil and Institut Nationale de la Recherche Agronomique in France - concludes that the absence of mortality does not always indicate functional integrity.
At sublethal doses, the pesticides modulated key enzymes that regulate physiological processes, cognitive capacities and immune responses, such as homing flight, associative learning, foraging behavior and brood development. Sensitivity to these insecticides and foraging range (as far as 1.5 to 3 km) make A. mellifera an optimal candidate for monitoring the environmental impacts of pesticides.
- Stephan M. Carvalho, Luc P. Belzunces, Geraldo A. Carvalho, Jean-Luc Brunet, Alexandra Badiou-Beneteau. Enzymatic biomarkers as tools to assess environmental quality: A case study of exposure of the honey beeapis mellifera to insecticides. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/etc.2288
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