Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Arizona Academy of Science

Volume

12

Issue

2

Publication Date

6-1-1977

First Page

84

Last Page

85

Abstract

Deaths of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., have been attributed to toxic algae (May and McBarron, 1973). Some suspensions of blue-green algae are highly poisonous to birds and mammals (Gorham, 1964). On the other hand, certain fish and shellfish are sufficiently immune to enable them to accumulate algal toxins (Schwimmer and Schwimmer, 1955). The insecticidal potential of algae has almost been ignored. Gerhardt (1955) observed that some species of the blue-green alga Anabaena may poison mosquito larvae, but Griffin and Rees (1956) could not verify such toxicity. The only evidence that algae poison bees is circumstantial: field bees in one apiary soon died when they were situated 27 meters downwind from a lake with a thick scum of Anabaena circinalis (Kiietz) Rabenh. Another apiary located 1.6 km upward from the lake was unaffected. Water containing bloom of this alga killed mice when it was injected, but bees were not tested (May and McBarron, 1973). My objective was to evaluate, by feeding algae under controlled conditions, whether selected algae are hazardous to honey bees.

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