PRECS 2018

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018


Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid insecticide commonly used in agricultural settings to control insect pests by acting as an agonist of acetylcholine receptors and inducing paralysis and mortality. In small doses, imidacloprid can cause loss of memory and foraging ability along with impaired learning and a lowered immune response in western honey bees (Apis mellifera). Effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on colony reproduction have been documented including decreased colony expansion, queen failure and replacement, and decreased queen egg laying.

For this study, we examined the effects of imidacloprid on the fecundity of queen bees when their worker attendants were exposed to low doses of imidacloprid through their food source using a novel, labbased, Queen Monitoring Cage (QMC) system. Our results will help elucidate the effect of imidacloprid on the egg laying behaviors of honey bee queens. By comparing the results generated using QMCs to previous studies using full-sized colonies, we will attempt to validate the use of QMCs as a risk assessment tool.


Copyright is owned by the creators of this work.


This research project was conducted with the cooperation of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, the Neuroscience Program, and the Department of Entemology, all at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation under grant #NSF REU 1559908/1559929, as part of the Phenotypic Plasticity Research Experience for Community College Students, through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Institute for Genomic Biology and Parkland College.



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