Effects of Flupyradifurone and Two Reference Insecticides Commonly Used in Toxicological Studies on the Larval Proteome of the Honey Bee Apis mellifera
The western honey bee Apis mellifera is globally distributed due to its beekeeping advantages
and plays an important role in the global ecology and economy. In recent decades, several studies have
raised concerns about bee decline. Discussed are multiple reasons such as increased pathogen pressure,
malnutrition or pesticide use. Insecticides are considered to be one of the major factors. In 2013, the use
of three neonicotinoids in the field was prohibited in the EU. Flupyradifurone was introduced as a potential
successor; it has a comparable mode of action as the banned neonicotinoids. However, there is a
limited number of studies on the effects of sublethal concentrations of flupyradifurone on honey bees.
Particularly, the larval physiological response by means of protein expression has not yet been studied.
Hence, the larval protein expression was investigated via 2D gel electrophoresis after following a standardised
protocol to apply sublethal concentrations of the active substance (flupyradifurone 10 mg/kg
diet) to larval food. The treated larvae did not show increased mortality or an aberrant development.
Proteome comparisons showed clear differences concerning the larval metabolism, immune response
and energy supply. Further field studies are needed to validate the in vitro results at a colony level.