First-ever study using realistic field doses of neonicotinoid pesticides has confirmed their deadly effects on honey bee populations. Researchers have quantified the length and magnitude of pesticide exposure in Canada’s cornfields, and mimicked the exposure in a lab setting. They found that the lifespans of worker and queen honey bees are cut by 23% after being exposed to the harmful chemicals for just nine days. Researchers also discovered that a commonly used fungicide can interact with neonicotinoids to make them more dangerous.


N. Tsvetkov, O. Samson-Robert, K. Sood, H. S. Patel, D. A. Malena, P. H. Gajiwala, P. Maciukiewicz, V. Fournier, A. Zayed

Corresponding author: 

A. Zayed, Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, ON,

Original paper published in Science on June 29, 2017.

Associated news story from York University.