Meeting Abstract

39.6  Thursday, Jan. 5  Impacts of Non-Insecticidal Agricultural Chemicals on Olfactory Behaviors in Bumblebees SPRAYBERRY, Jordanna/ D. H.*; RIFFELL, Jeff/ A.; Muhlenberg College; Univ. Washington jsprayberry@muhlenberg.edu

Our research focuses on potential indirect effects of non-insecticidal agricultural chemicals. Agricultural chemical treatments such as fertilizers or fungicides could add to the mélange of incoming sensory information that bumblebees experience while foraging. Chemicals with strong scents may be aversive to bumblebees, or they may combine with floral odors and change the blend structure of natural signals. Two chemicals, Turf Builder and Manzate, were used in prior experiments on olfactory navigation in Bombus impatiens. We found that Manzate decreased the accuracy with which bees located a feeder within a maze, and increased the time it took them to navigate to the feeder. Turf Builder had no significant effect. Continued behavioral investigation has focused on whether or not these chemicals alter bumblebee preference for a learned odor. Bees are trained to a linalool scented feeder in a single foraging chamber. After a training period the foraging chamber is replaced with a T junction leading to two foraging chambers, each containing a linalool scented feeder. One chamber (in non-control trials) also contains a chemical treatment (Manzate or Turf Builder). Given the demonstrated impact these chemicals have on olfactory-driven foraging behavior, we ran a GCMS analysis on the volatile components of Turf Builder and Manzate. We also analyzed Turf Builder and Manzate combined with common floral odorants to determine whether or not they change emission rates of those odorants. Neither Turf Builder nor Manzate change emission rates of the tested odorants. However, Turf Builder does have constituents that overlap with common floral odorants and may therefore alter blend structure.