Effects of Herbicides on the Survival of the Brazilian Native Bee Melipona scutellaris Latreille, 1811 (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

ABSTRACT: Native bees are key pollinators to native and cultivated plants. Understanding the effects of the products used in crops on bees is crucial and can help establish management measures that offer more protection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the 1/2 the commercial dose; the commercial dose (2,4-D 1,000 g a.i. ha-1, glyphosate 760 g a.i. ha-1, glyphosate + 2,4-D 760 g a.i. ha-1 + 1,000 g a.i. ha-1, and picloram 2% (v/v) and 2x the commercial dose of glyphosate, 2,4-D, picloram, and glyphosate+2,4-D on the survival of bees Melipona scutellaris by contact and oral exposure. We also evaluated the impact of herbicides used in semi-field realistic conditions on temperature control and weight of colonies of M. scutellaris. The results show that there was no decrease in longevity when half of the recommended field dose was applied. When field dose was used, topically exposed bees to glyphosate + 2,4-D had a decrease in longevity. In oral exposure both to the recommended field dose and the double dose, bees had reduced longevity, except those exposed to a double dose of 2,4-D. In semi-field conditions, there were no differences between control and exposure colonies. The data presented indicate that the herbicides may affect bees directly compromise their survival and indirectly they might affect the process of pollination.