Scientific research & other resources on neonicotinoids

Much has been written and is available to the reader online on the subject of neonicotinoids and their linkage to bee poisonings. Among these are the following reports and peer-reviewed papers that the OBA believes to be particularly relevant and useful. We will keep this section updated with new information as it appears.

NOW AVAILABLE: The Worldwide Integrated Assessment on Systemic Pesticides full report

Peer Reviewed Papers:

  1. Suresh D. Desai, Robert W. Currie, Department of Entomology, University of Manitoba. Effects of wintering environment and parasite-pathogen interactions on honey bee colony loss in north temperate regions. July 22, 2016 Plos One
  2. Christina L. Mogren & Jonathan G Lundgren. Neonicotinoid-contaminated pollinator strips adjacent to cropland reduce honey bee nutritional status. reports. July 14, 2016
  3. Francisco Sanchez-Bayo & Nicolas Desneux. Neonicotinoids and the prevalence of parasites and disease in bees. Bee World April 2016 (note: scroll down pdf to view)
  4. Yi-Chan Peng & En-cheng Yang, "Sublethal dosage of imidacloprid reduces the microglomerular density of honey bee mushroom bodies"., January 13, 2016
  5. Arthur David, Cristina Boias, Alaa Abdul-Sada, Elizabeth Nichold, Ellen L. Rotheray, Elizabeth M. Hill, Dave Goulson, "Widespread contamination of wildflower and bee-collected pollen with complex mixtures of neonicotinoids and fungicides commonly applied to crops." Environment International March, 2016.
  6. "The effectiveness of neonicotinoid seed treatments on soy." Purdue University 2016
  7. Dara A. Stanley, Michael P. D. Garratt, Jennifer B. Wickens, Victoria J. Wickens, Simon G. Potts & Nigel E. Raine. Neonicotinoid pesticide exposure impairs crop pollination services provided by bumble bees. Nature Magazine. Nov. 18, 2015
  8. Victor Limay-Rios, Luis Gabriel Forero, Yingen Xue, Jocelyn Smith, Tracey Baute & Arthur Schaafsma. Neonicotinoid insecticide residues in soil dust and associated parent soil in fields with a history of seed treatment use on crops in southwestern Ontario. Environ. Toxicol  Chem. September 19, 2015
  9. Christina Botias, Arthur David, Julie Horwood, Alaa Abdul-Sada, Elizabeth Nicholls, Elizabeth Hill and Dave Goulson. Neonicotinoid Residues in Wildflowers, a Potential Route of Chronic Exposure for Bees. Sussex University. Environmental Science & Technology. October 6, 2015
  10. Geoffrey R. Williams, Aline Troxier, Gina Retschnig, Kaspar Roth, Orlando Yanez, Dave Shutler, Peter Neumann & Laurent Gauthier. Neonicotinoid pesticides severely affect honey bee queens.  Nature Magazine. October 13, 2015
  11. G.E. Budge, D. Garthwaite, A. Crowe, N. D. Boatman, K. D. Delaplane, M. A. Brown, H. H. thygesen, S. Pietravalle. Evidence for pollinator cost and farming benefits of neonicotinoid seed coatings on oilseed rape. Scientific Reports. Nature Magazine. August 20, 2015
  12. Michelle L. Hladik and Dana W. Kolpin, U.S. Geological Survey National level reconnaissance of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams across the USA.,  Environmental Chemistry, August 18, 2015
  13. Chensheng (Alex) Lu, Chi-Hsuan Chang, Lin Tao and Mei Chen. Distributions of neonicotinoid insecticides in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: a temporal and spatial variation analysis for pollen and honey samples. Department of Environmental Health, Harvard. Environmental Chemistry, 24 July, 2015
  14. Mohamed Alburaki, Sebastien Boutin, Pierre-Luc Mercier, Yves Loublier, Madeleine Chagnon, Nicolas Derome. Neonicotinoid-Coated Zea mays seeds indirectly affect honeybee performance and pathogen susceptibility in field trials. Plos One. May 18, 2015 
  15. Sebastien, C. Kessler, Erin Jo Tiedeken, Kerry L Simcock, Sophie Derveau, etc. Bees prefer foods containing neonicotinoid pesticides. Nature Magazine April 22, 2015.
  16. Maj Rundlof, Georg K.S. Andersson, Riccardo Bommaraco, Ingemar Fries, Veronica Henderstrom, Lina Herbertsson etc. Seed coating wih a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees. Nature Magazine, April 22, 2015
  17. Ecosystems services, agriculture and neonicotinoids. European Academies Science Advisory Council. April, 2015
  18. Jacob R. Pecenka, Jonathan G. Lundgren. Non-target effects of clothianidin on monarch butterflies. The Science of Nature, April 2015
  19. Margaret R. Douglas and John F. Tooker. Large-Scale Deployment of Seed Treatments Has Driven Rapid Increase in Use of Neonicotinoid Insecticides and Preemptive Pest Management in U.S. Field Crops Environmental Science & Technology 
    DOI: 10.1021/es506141g
  20. Goulson D. (2015) Neonicotinoids impact bumblebee colony fitness in the field; a reanalysis of the UK’s Food & Environment Research Agency 2012 experiment. PeerJ 3:e854
  21. A. Schaafsma, V. Limay-Rios, T. Baute, J. Smith, Y Xue. Neonicotinoid insecticide residues in surface water and soil associated with commercial maize (corn) fields in Southwestern Ontario. Feb. 24, 2015.
  22. Christopher A Mullin, Jing Chen, Julie D. Fine, Maryann T. Frazier, James L, Frazier. The formulation makes the honey bee poison. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, January 2015.
  23. Christoper Moffet, Joao Goncalves Pacheco, Sheila Sharp, Andrew Sampson, Karen Bolan, Jeffrey Huang, Stephen Buckland, Christopher N. Connolley.Chronic exposure to neonicotinoids increases neuronal vulnerability to mitochrondrial dysfunction in the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) The FASEB Journal, January 2015
  24. Oliver Samson-Robert, Genevieve Labrie,  Madeleine Chagnon, Valerie Fournier:Neonicotinoid-contaminated puddles of water represent a risk of intoxication for honey bees. PlosOne Dec. 1, 2014
  25. Margaret R. Douglas, Jason R. Rohr and John F. Tooker, "Neonicotinoid insecticide travels through a soil food chain, disrupting biological control of non-target pests and decreasing soya bean yield. Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University Journal of Applied Ecology, 2015
  26. Christy A. Morrissey, Pierre Mineau, James H. Devries, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo, Matthias Liess, Michael C. Cavallaro, Karsten Liber.  Neonicotinoid contamination of global surface waters and associate risk to aquatic invertebrates: A review. Environment International Journal 2014
  27. Nicodemo, D., Maioli, M. A., Medeiros, H. C.D., Guelfi, M., Balieira, K. V.B., De Jong, D. and Mingatto, F. E. (2014),Fipronil and imidacloprid reduce honeybee mitochondrial activity. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. doi: 10.1002/etc.2655
  28. Sandrock C, Tanadini M, Tanadini LG, Fauser-Misslin A, Potts SG, et al. (2014) Impact of Chronic Neonicotinoid Exposure on Honeybee Colony Performance and Queen Supersedure. PLoS ONE 9(8): e103592. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103592
  29. Madeleine Chagnon, David Kreutzweiser, Edward A. D. Mitchell, Christy A Morrissey, Dominique A. Noome, Jeroen P. Van der Sluijs. Risks of large scale use of systemic insecticides to ecosystem functioning and services Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides July 2014
  30. Michelle L. Hladik, Dana W. Kolpin, Kathryn M. Kuivila, Widespread occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in streams in a high corn and soybean producing region, USAScience  Direct  June 2014
  31. Caspar Hallmann, Ruud Foppen, Chris van Turnhout, Hans deKroon, Elke Jongejans Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations. Nature July 2014
  32. Richard J Gill, Nigel E. Raine. Chronic impairment of bumblebee natural foraging behaviours induced by sublethal pesticide exposure. Functional Ecology, British Ecological Society July 7, 2014 
  33. David Gibbons, Christy Morrissey, Pierre Mineau A Review of the direct and indirect effects of neonicotinoids and fipronil on vertebrate wildlife. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 2014
  34. Vincent Doublet, Maureen Labarussias, Joachim R. deMiranda, Robin F.A. Moritz. Bees under stress: sublethal doses of a neonicotinoid pesticide and pathogens interact to elevate honey bee mortality across the life cycle. 2014 doe:10.1111/1462-2920.12426
  35. Wanyi Zhu, Daniel R. Schmehl, Christopher A Mullin, James L Frazier "Four common pesticides, their mixtures and a formulation solvent in the hive environment have high oral toxicity to honey bee larvae" PlosOne Jan 8, 2014
  36. Caroline de Almeida Rossi, Thaisa Cristina Roat, Daiana Antonia Tavares, Brain Morpophysiology of Africanized Bee Apis mellifera Exposed to Sublethal Doses of Imadacloprid. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 7 April 2013.
  37. Adrianna Szczepaniec, Michael J. Raupp, Roy D. Parker, David Kerns, Micky D. Eubanks Neonicotinoid Insecticides Alter Induced Defenses and Increase Susceptibility to Spider Mites in Distantly Related Crop Plants. Plos One May 3, 2013
  38. Mary J. Palmer, Christopher Moffat, Nastja Saranzewa, Jenni Harvey. Cholinergic pesticides cause mushroom body neuronal inactivation in honey bees. Nature. 27 March 2013
  39. Regiane Alves Oliveira, Thaisa Cristina Road, Stephan Malfitano Carvalho, Osmar Malaspina, Side Effects of Thiamethosam on the Brain and Midgut of the Africanized honeybee Apis mellifera Wiley Periodicals, 2013
  40. Gennaro DiPrisco, Valeria Cavaliere, Desiderato Annoscia et al. "Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees" national Academy of Sciences of the United States.
  41. Sally Williamson and Geraldine Wright, "Exposure to multiple cholinergic pesticides impairs olfactory learning and memory in honey bees." Journal of Experimental Biology 2013
  42. Jeroen P VanderSluijs, Noa Simon-Delso, Dave Goulson, Laura Maxim, Jean-MarcBonmatin, Luc P. Belzunes. "Neonicotinoids, bee disorders and the sustainability of pollinator services." Current Opinion Environmental Sustainability 2013
  43. Jeffrey S Pettis et al. "Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptability to the Gut Pathogen Nosema Ceranae". 2013 PlosOne
  44. Dave Goulson: "An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid pesticides." Journal of Applied Ecology 2013
  45. Rosemary Mason, Henk Tennekes, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo; "Immune Suppression by Neonicotinoid Insecticides at the Root of Global Wildlife Declines." Journal of Environmental Immunology. 2013
  46. Van Dijk, Tessa C, Van Staalduinen, Marja A, Van de Sluijs, Jeroen P. "Macro-Invertebrate Decline in Surface Water Polluted with Imadacloprid." May 2013 PLOS ONE
  47. Gill, Richard J, Ramos-Rodrigues, Oscar, & Raine, Nigel E. "Combined pesticide exposure severely affects individual - and colony - level traits in bees." Nature 2012
  48. Tappara, A. Marton,D. Gioria, C. Zanella, A. Solda, L. Marzaro, M. Vivan, L. Girolami, V. (2012) “Assessment of the environmental exposure of honeybees to particulate matter containing neonicotinoid insecticides coming from corn coated seeds”
  49. Krupke, C.H. Hunt, G.J. Eitzer, B.D. Andino, G. Given, K (2012) “Multiple routes of pesticide exposure for honey bees living near agricultural fields”
  50. Toshiro Yamada Kazuko Yamada Naoko Wada "Influence of Dinotefuran and Clothianidin on a Bee Colony. Graduate School of Natural Science & Technology, Kanazawa (Japan) University
  51. Mickael Henry et al: A common pesticide decreases foraging success and survival in honey bees. Science Magazine 2012
  52. Jeffrey Pettis, Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Josepine Johnson, Galen Dively Pesticide exposure in honey bees results in  increased levels of the gut pathogen Nosema. National Institute of Health. Naturwissenschaften 3 January, 2012
  53. Cedric Alaux, Jean-Luc Brunet and Yves Le Conte "Interactions between Nosema microspores and  neonicotnoid weakened honey bees" Environmental Microbiology, March 2010
  54. Aliouane et al "Subchronic exposure to sub-lethal doses of pesticide: effects on behaviour" Environmental Toxology and Chemistry 2009

Summary of Findings: Health Canada

Update on neonicotinoid pesticides and bee health Nov. 2014

Evaluation of Canadian Bee Mortalities in 2013 Related to Neonicotinoid Pesticides

Evaluation of Canadian Bee Mortalities that Coincided with Corn Planting in Spring 2012

Reevaluation of imidacloprid - Preliminary Pollinator Assessment January 6, 2016

Government and NGO reports:

  1. League of Women Voters Minnesota, "The impact of neonicotinoids on honey bees briefing paper" November 2015.
  2. The Ecological Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides. Science briefing for MPP's by Dr. J.M. Bonmatin, CNRS France and Vice-chair TFSP, May 28, 2015
  3. Managing new Challenges, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario Annual Report. 2013-14
  4. Neonicotinoids in  Quebec
  5. Xerces Society: Beyond the Birds and Bees
  6. Report from the European Parliament on Pesticide Research
  7. UK Parliamentary environmental audit
  8. Xerces Society Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees?
  9. Congressional Research Service. Bee Health: The Role of Pesticides
  10. Pesticides and Honey Bees: State of the Science
  11. The Impact of the Nation's Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds. The American Bird Conservatory


  1. Sussex Prof Dave Goulson: Linnean Lecture on Neonicotinoids (VIDEO)
  2. Evidence for Democracy: Expert panel of scientists on neonics.
  3. video on bees and pesticides
  4. From Earth Focus: Video on neonicotinoids
  5. From The Disappearance of the Bees video
  6. Dan Rather reports on neonicotinoids and the EPA