Assessment of risk to hoary squash bees (Peponapis pruinosa) and other ground-nesting bees from systemic insecticides in agricultural soil Academic Article uri icon

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  • AbstractUsing the hoary squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa) as a model, we provide the first probabilistic risk assessment of exposure to systemic insecticides in soil for ground-nesting bees. To assess risk in acute and chronic exposure scenarios in Cucurbita and field crops, concentrations of clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid (neonicotinoids) and chlorantraniliprole (anthranilic diamide) in cropped soil were plotted to produce an environmental exposure distribution for each insecticide. The probability of exceedance of several exposure endpoints (LC50s) was compared to an acceptable risk threshold (5%). In Cucurbita crops, under acute exposure, risk to hoary squash bees was below 5% for honey bee LC50s for all residues evaluated but exceeded 5% for clothianidin and imidacloprid using a solitary bee LC50. For Cucurbita crops in the chronic exposure scenario, exposure risks for clothianidin and imidacloprid exceeded 5% for all endpoints, and exposure risk for chlorantraniliprole was below 5% for all endpoints. In field crops, risk to ground-nesting bees was high from clothianidin in all exposure scenarios and high for thiamethoxam and imidacloprid under chronic exposure scenarios. Risk assessments for ground-nesting bees should include exposure impacts from pesticides in soil and could use the hoary squash bee as an ecotoxicology model.


  • Willis Chan, D Susan
  • Prosser, Ryan
  • Rodríguez-Gil, Jose L
  • Raine, Nigel E

publication date

  • August 14, 2019