Behaviour 2019
Honey bee behaviour and development are affected by neonicotinids within the hive
Paul Siefert1, Nastasya Buling1, Rudra Hota2, Visvanathan Ramesh2, Bernd Grünewald1. 1Institut für Bienenkunde, Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, , Germany; 2Center for Cognition and Computation, Institut für Informatik, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, , Germany

The combined behaviours of individuals within insect societies determine the survival and development of the colony. For the western honey bee (Apis mellifera), individual behaviours include nest building, foraging, storing and ripening food, nursing the brood, temperature regulation, hygiene and defence. Agricultural chemicals are known to alter honey bee behavior outside colonies, however, the effects within colonies are difficult to observe. In the present study, we demonstrate an innovative video method that enables within-cell analysis in observation hives to detect chronic sublethal neonicotinoid effects of clothianidin (1 and 10 ppb) and thiacloprid (200 ppb) on nursing behaviour and development. In May-June, colonies which were fed 10 ppb clothianidin and 200 ppb thiacloprid in syrup over three weeks showed reduced feeding visits and duration throughout various larval development days (LDDs). On LDD 6 total feeding duration did not differ between treatments. Behavioural adaptation was exhibited by nurses in the treatment groups. Using artificial intelligence, we demonstrate a method for analyzing behaviours in an intact hive that can be applied in a versatile manner.