Field assessment of Bt cry1Ah corn pollen on the survival, development and behavior of Apis mellifera ligustica

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Abstract or Summary

Honeybees may be exposed to insecticidal proteins from transgenic plants via pollen. An assessment of the impact of such exposures on the honeybee is an essential part of the risk assessment process for transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis corn. A field trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of transgenic Btcry1Ah corn on the honeybee Apis mellifera ligustica. Colonies of honeybees were moved to Bt or non-Bt corn fields during anthesis and then sampled to record their survival, development and behavior. No differences in immature stages, worker survival, bee body weight, hypopharyngeal gland weight, colony performance, foraging activity or olfactory learning abilities were detected between colonies that were placed in non-Bt corn fields and those placed in Bt corn fields. We conclude that cry1Ah corn carries no risk for the survival, development, colony performance or behavior of the honeybee A. mellifera ligustica.

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