Tank mixtures of insecticides and fungicides, adjuvants, additives, fertilizers and their effects on honey bees after contact exposure in a spray chamber
In agriculture honey bees may be exposed to multiple pesticides. In contrast to single applications of plant protection products (PPP), the effects of tank mixtures of two or more PPP on honey bees are not routinely assessed in the risk assessment of plant protection products. However, tank mixes are often common practice by farmers. Mixtures of practically non-toxic substances can lead to synergistic increase of toxic effects on honey bees, observed for the first time in 19921 in combinations of pyrethroids and azole fungicides. 2004 Iwasa et al. already reported that ergosterol-biosynthesis-inhibiting (EBI) fungicides strongly increase the toxicity of neonicotinoids in laboratory for the contact exposure route. Furthermore, in agricultural practice additives, adjuvants and fertilizers may be added to the spray solution. For these additives usually no informations on potential side effects on bees are available when mixed with plant protection products. Therefore, it is considered necessary to investigate possible additive or synergistic impacts and evaluate potentially critical combinations to ensure protection of bees. Here, we investigated the effects on bees of combinations of insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers under controlled laboratory conditions. A spray chamber was used to evaluate effects following contact exposure by typical field application rates. Subsequently, mortality and behaviour of bees were monitored for at least 48 h following the OECD acute contact toxicity test 2143. Dependencies of synergistic effects and the time intervals between the applications of the mixing partners were evaluated.