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Abstract

Bees are essential pollinators of many crops and wild plants, and pesticide exposure is one of the key environmental stressors affecting their health in anthropogenically modified landscapes. Until recently, almost all information on routes and impacts of pesticide exposure came from honey bees, at least partially because they were the only model species required for environmental risk assessments (ERAs) for insect pollinators. Recently, there has been a surge in research activity focusing on pesticide exposure and effects for non- bees, including other social bees (bumble bees and stingless bees) and solitary bees. These taxa vary substantially from honey bees and one another in several important ecological traits, including spatial and temporal activity patterns, foraging and nesting requirements, and degree of sociality. In this article, we review the current evidence base about pesticide exposure pathways and the consequences of exposure for non- bees. We find that the insights into non- bee pesticide exposure and resulting impacts across biological organizations, landscapes, mixtures, and multiple stressors are still in their infancy. The good news is that there are many promising approaches that could be used to advance our understanding, with priority given to informing exposure pathways, extrapolating effects, and determining how well our current insights (limited to very few species and mostly neonicotinoid insecticides under unrealistic conditions) can be generalized to the diversity of species and lifestyles in the global bee community. We conclude that future research to expand our knowledge would also be beneficial for ERAs and wider policy decisions concerning pollinator conservation and pesticide regulation.

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2024-01-25
2024-06-17
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