Transient Exposure to Low Levels of Insecticide Affects Metabolic Networks of Honeybee Larvae
Given the changes we observe at the RNA and lipid level, it is reasonable so suspect that the synthetic neonicotinoid-class of insecticides are a factor driving the global decline of pollinating insects. We find evidence that dietary traces of the insecticide imidacloprid impacts physiology of larvae from bee colonies located in a typical British agricultural landscape. The genomic response to this novel environmental stressor mainly affects energy metabolism pathways. Downregulation of sugar metabolism in response to neonicotinoids could, for example, impact start and duration of foraging ,  and impair flight performance as flight muscles work at very high glycolytic rates , . In fact, it has already been observed that treatment of adult honey bees with imidacloprid can impair foraging and result in delayed return flights and an increase in the number of bees not returning from foraging .