Efficacy of ground-applied ultra-low-volume malathion on honey bee survival and productivity in open and forest areas.


A study was conducted to determine the efficacy of ground ultra-low-volume malathion sprays on honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) apiaries in open and forested areas downwind from the spray route. Impact on colonies 7.6, 15.2, 47.7, and 91.4 m downwind from sprays was assessed by recording individual bee mortality 12 and 36 h after treatment. In addition, hives were weighed before as well as during the study and cluster counts were conducted at each hive to determine colony strength before and after treatment. Spray drift was monitored by the use of caged mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus Say) mortality and deposition on filter paper. During the study, significant bee mortality in the open area occurred on 2 occasions at 7.6 m (16.8 +/- 4.3 bees, 11.8 +/- 7.0 bees) and at 15.2 m (6.5 +/- 1.7 bees, 5.3 +/- 1.5 bees). Significant mortality in the forested area was observed only once and consisted of 2 bees at 7.6 m. In each case where bee mortality occurred, spray deposits on filter papers had exceeded 400 ng/cm2. Although mortality of caged mosquitoes indicated that malathion drifted through the study areas, little correlation was apparent between mortality and spray deposition on filter paper.


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