Imperial College London

Dr Richard J. Gill

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences (Silwood Park)

Senior Lecturer



+44 (0)20 7594 2215r.gill Website




N2.13MunroSilwood Park






BibTex format

author = {Arce, AN and David, TI and Randall, E and Ramos, Rodrigues A and Colgan, TJ and Wurm, Y and Gill, RJ},
doi = {10.1111/1365-2664.12792},
journal = {Journal of Applied Ecology},
pages = {1199--1208},
title = {Impact of controlled neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees in a realistic field setting},
url = {},
volume = {54},
year = {2016}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - 1. Pesticide exposure has been implicated as a contributor to insect pollinator declines. In social bees, which are crucial pollination service providers, the effect of low-level chronic exposure is typically non-lethal leading researchers to consider whether exposure induces sub-lethal effects on behaviour and whether such impairment can affect colony development. 2. Studies under laboratory conditions can control levels of pesticide exposure and elucidate causative effects, but are often criticised for being unrealistic. In contrast, field studies can monitor bee responses under a more realistic pesticide exposure landscape; yet typically such findings are limited to correlative results, and can lack true controls or sufficient replication. We attempt to bridge this gap by exposing bumblebees to known amounts of pesticides when colonies are placed in the field.3. Using 20 bumblebee colonies, we assess the consequences of exposure to the neonicotinoid clothianidin, provided in sucrose at a concentration of five parts per billion, over five weeks. We monitored foraging patterns and pollen collecting performance from 3282 bouts using either a non-invasive photographic assessment, or by extracting the pollen from returning foragers. We also conducted a full colony census at the beginning and end of the experiment.4. In contrast to studies on other neonicotinoids, showing clear impairment to foraging behaviours, we detected only subtle changes to patterns of foraging activity and pollen foraging during the course of the experiment. However, our colony census measures showed a more pronounced effect of exposure, with fewer adult workers and sexuals in treated colonies after five weeks.5. Synthesis and applications. Pesticide induced impairments on colony development and foraging could impact on the pollination service that bees provide. Therefore our findings, that bees show subtle changes in foraging behaviour and reductions in colony size after exposure to a common pe
AU - Arce,AN
AU - David,TI
AU - Randall,E
AU - Ramos,Rodrigues A
AU - Colgan,TJ
AU - Wurm,Y
AU - Gill,RJ
DO - 10.1111/1365-2664.12792
EP - 1208
PY - 2016///
SN - 1365-2664
SP - 1199
TI - Impact of controlled neonicotinoid exposure on bumblebees in a realistic field setting
T2 - Journal of Applied Ecology
UR -
UR -
VL - 54
ER -