Lentola, Andrea (2014) Produzione di particolato da sementi conciate con insetticidi neonicotinoidi e valutazione della tossicitÃ in Apis mellifera L. [Magistrali biennali]
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Neonicotinoid pesticides were introduced in the 90s as product for crop treatment. They have been highly successful and are still widely used for many different crops. In 2008, the use of some of these products have been banned in Italy, to protect non-target insects (bees, in particular) from the toxic effects of these pesticides. This action was necessary because in Italy, and worldwide as well, beekeepers have reported severe colony loss in the period of corn sowing. In December 2013 an European Regulation banned for two years the use of these pesticides in the whole territory of the European Union. In this period will be necessary to collect further data to understand better how the decline of honeybees is related to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. Therefore is very important to continue the study on the active ingredients subject to the suspension and to extend it to new products that have replaced them. There are many way of use the neonicotinoids: spray, granular for soil treatment and seed coating. Their main use is for the seed coating of corn, a crop widespread throughout the European territory. Other seeds treated with neonicotinoids are rapeseed, sunflower, soybean and sugar beet. The drilling machines used for the sowing, release in the atmosphere large amount of particulate matter, originated from the abrasion of seeds coating. These particles contain the pesticide that causes the contamination of vegetation near to farmland. Furthermore, it causes the acute toxication of flying bees approaching the drilling machines. Some previous experiments have already determinated the amount of insecticide collected by the bees in flight. The doses of pesticide are very high and could cause death of the insects. In the literature there are many studies on the acute toxicity of these pesticides. However, only few works consider the real exposure conditions that take place in the field. Moreover, so far, no study has yet quantified the acute toxicity toward bees of the particulate matter emitted by the drilling machines. In order to investigate this toxic effect, we have optimized a laboratory device for the production of particulate matter which reproduce that emitted by the drilling machine. The aim was the production of an air stream containing a precise and stable concentration of neonicotinoid, for the controlled exposure of bees and the consequent in vivo experimentation. After the standardization of this system, it has been used to quantify the toxicity of two different insecticides used in the corn seed coating. By this device it will be possible to compare the effects of different pesticides used for seed coating and to study the parameters that influence the toxicity of these powders (for example: different conditions of atmospheric humidity or temperature).
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