The decline of pollinators has become increasingly evident in recent years. In addition to the honeybee, wild bees such as the bumblebee are particularly affected. However, honeybees and wild bees play an important role as pollinators and are indispensable for maintaining a wide variety of ecosystems. There are many causes for pollinator decline. One important factor is the use of plant protection products.
In most cases, different insecticides and fungicides are applied in combination, resulting in mixtures of active ingredients. However, the collecting behavior of bees also favors such a mix. Mixtures of different plant protection products can lead to synergistic effects, which are still largely unexplored.
In my project I would like to investigate the effect of approved insecticides and fungicides and their mixture on honeybees and bumblebees. The focus will be on the sensory system, the learning behavior and the orientation of the animals.
The studies should help to counteract the decline of pollinators and enable recommendations to be made regarding the combined application of insecticides and fungicides.
The project is part of the BayÖkotox project network and is supported by The German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU).