Abstract: Neonicotinoids, a group of widely used agricultural pesticides, have been suspected inducing the colony collapse disorder (CCD) of honeybees by disordering the navigation system and/or disrupting their foraging behavior. In this study, we will examine this hypothesis by evaluating the toxicity of imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide. Honeybee colonies will be treated with sub-lethal dosage of imidacloprid for a period of time to induce the symptom of CCD artificially. The imidacloprid toxicity effect on the forging behavior will be investigated by monitoring the short-term and long-term effects of foraging properties, such as the duration and frequency of foraging behavior. By electrophysiological recording, imidacloprid-immunostaining and behavioral assay, the imidacloprid toxicity effect on the navigation system will be studied. Furthermore, by exploring the neural processing and the architecture of the magnetoreception system of honeybee, this study will reveal the mechanism of magnetoreception, one of the main navigational cues, in the honeybee. The study of magnetoreception will provide evidences to clarify whether the CCD is caused by navigation disorder and neonicotinoid toxicity. The key factors of the imidacloprid-induced CCD will be discovered in this study, and it can therefore be concluded that whether the neonicotinoids cause CCD in the field and how this chemical would contribute to the syndrome.
colony collapse disorder