The Neonicotinoid clothianidin interferes with navigation of the solitary bee Osmia cornuta in a laboratory test

Nanxiang Jin, Simon Klein, Fabian Leimig, Gabriela Bischoff, Randolf Menzel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


Pollinating insects provide a vital ecosystem service to crops and wild plants. Exposure to low doses of neonicotinoid insecticides has sub-lethal effects on social pollinators such as bumblebees and honeybees, disturbing their navigation and interfering with their development. Solitary Hymenoptera are also very important ecosystem service providers, but the sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids have not yet been studied well in those animals. We analyzed the ability of walking Osmia to remember a feeding place in a small environment and found that Osmia remembers the feeding place well after 4 days of training. Uptake of field-realistic amounts of the neonicotinoid clothianidin (0.76 ng per bee) altered the animals' sensory responses to the visual environment and interfered with the retrieval of navigational memory. We conclude that the neonicotinoid clothianidin compromises visual guidance and the use of navigational memory in the solitary bee Osmia cornuta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2821-2825
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • arena experiment
  • clothianidin
  • learning
  • memory retrieval
  • navigation
  • neonicotinoid
  • Osmia cornuta

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