Free Access
Volume 30, Number 6, 1999
Page(s) 465 - 473
Apidologie 30 (1999) 465-473
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19990601

Effects of a Bacillus thuringiensis toxin, two Bacillus thuringiensis biopesticide formulations, and a soybean trypsin inhibitor on honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) survival and food consumption

Louise Anne Malone, Elisabeth Phyllis June Burgess. and Dragana Stefanovic

Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand Limited, Mt Albert Research Centre, Private Bag 92169, Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract - Newly emerged adult honey bees, Apis mellifera L., were fed with a pollen-based food containing various additives: purified and activated Cry 1Ba δ-endotoxin, from Bacillus thuringiensis Bt4412 (Bt) (1, 0.25 and 0.025 % w/w), Bt biopesticide preparations, Dipel 2X (1 and 0.25 %) and Foray 48B (0.25 %), and Kunitz soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI) (1, 0.5 or 0.05 %). The bees received these foods for 7 days and were then given control food without additives for the rest of their lives. Bee survival time was unaffected, and the food was consumed at the same rate as control food for all treatments, except 1 % Dipel, where both survival and food consumption were significantly reduced. A second experiment showed that bees completely deprived of the pollen-based food also had poorer survival than those fed with the control food. Adult bees are unlikely to be harmed by transgenic plants expressing Cry1Ba or SBTI, or by Bt biopesticides that are used as recommended. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: honey bee / Bacillus thuringiensis / CrylBa toxin / Kunitz soybean trypsin inhibitor / pest-resistant transgenic plants