Genetically Modified Crops and Bees

Journal of Apicultural Research   August 8, 2015

A paper in the new issue of the Journal of Apicultural Research published today, throws new light on the controversial subject of genetically modified crops and bees. Although there has been much media attention on the possible effects of the widely grown Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn on bees, studies so far have not demonstrated adverse effects. Until now, however, the majority of these studies have involved the western honey bee Apis mellifera.

In this new study, Dr Ping-Li Dai from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Beijing, China and colleagues have studied the effects of Bt cry1Ah corn pollen on immature worker survival and development of the eastern honey bee Apis cerana cerana. They found no significant differences in capping rate, emergence rate and immature stage among treatments. The authors conclude that: "our studies suggest that cry1Ah corn pollen carries no risk for the survival and development of A. c. cerana immature workers." The paper can be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00218839.2015.1035075?journalCode=tjar20#abstract