"Modern pesticide formulations, particularly when multiple active ingredients are blended, require proprietary adjuvants and 'inerts' to achieve high efficacy for targeted pests," said Christopher Mullin, professor of entomology. "Recently, we have shown that honey bees are unusually sensitive to organosilicone spray adjuvants and other coformulants used in agrochemicals."
In this project the team, which includes Maryann Frazier, senior extension associate, will analyze the presence and fate of organosilicone spray adjuvants and other coformulants in bee ecosystems. Specifically, they will identify common 'inerts' in agrochemicals and other environmental chemicals used frequently around honey bees or in their preferred foraging areas; develop analytical methods to monitor and determine the fate of pesticide formulation and adjuvant ingredients within bee ecosystems; determine acute and sub-lethal effects of pesticides, their formulation ingredients, important metabolites and relevant combinations on bee physiological and behavioral systems; and facilitate integration and communication of results to beekeepers, growers, pesticide regulators, the agrochemical industry and the research community.
"Knowing relevant environmental levels of adjuvants and 'inerts' would allow improved risk assessment of total chemical loads and exposures for bee pollinators and other non-targets species," said Mullin. "In addition, we anticipate that if 'inerts' are influencing pesticide levels and general hive stress, formulation recommendations can be optimized for use in bee foraging areas."
Examining Effects of Extinction and Invasion
A third grant, funded by the National Science Foundation for $300,000, will enable researchers to investigate the impacts of extinctions and invasions on community stability and biodiversity. The team, which includes Colin Campbell, postdoctoral
|Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer|