Sensitive determination of mixtures of neonicotinoid and fungicide residues in pollen and single bumblebees using a scaled down QuEChERS method for exposure assessment

David, Arthur, Botías, Cristina, Abdul-Sada, Alaa, Goulson, Dave and Hill, Elizabeth M (2015) Sensitive determination of mixtures of neonicotinoid and fungicide residues in pollen and single bumblebees using a scaled down QuEChERS method for exposure assessment. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 407 (26). pp. 8151-8162. ISSN 1618-2642

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Abstract

To accurately estimate exposure of bees to pesticides, analytical methods are needed to enable quantification of nanogram/gram (ng/g) levels of contaminants in small samples of pollen or the individual insects. A modified QuEChERS extraction method coupled with ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) analysis was tested to quantify residues of 19 commonly used neonicotinoids and fungicides and the synergist, piperonyl butoxide, in 100 mg samples of pollen and in samples of individual bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). Final recoveries ranged from 71 to 102 % for most compounds with a repeatability of below 20 % for both pollen and bumblebee extracts spiked at 5 and 40 ng/g. The method enables the detection of all compounds at sub-ng/g levels in both matrices and the method detection limits (MDL) ranged from 0.01 to 0.84 ng/g in pollen and 0.01 to 0.96 ng/g in individual bumblebees. Using this method, mixtures of neonicotinoids (thiamethoxam, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiacloprid) and fungicides (carbendazim, spiroxamine, boscalid, tebuconazole, prochloraz, metconazole, fluoxastrobin, pyraclostrobin and trifloxystrobin) were detected in pollens of field bean, strawberry and raspberry at concentrations ranging from <MDL to 67 ng/g for neonicotinoids and from <MDL to 14 ng/g for fungicides. In bumblebees, the insecticides thiamethoxam and thiacloprid were present at concentrations >MDL, and in some bees, the fungicides carbendazim, boscalid, tebuconazole, flusilazole and metconazole were present at concentrations between 0.80 to 30 ng/g. This new method allows the analysis of mixtures of neonicotinoids and fungicides at trace levels in small quantities of pollen and individual bumblebees and thus will facilitate exposure assessment studies.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Chemistry
School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Subjects: Q Science
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QD Chemistry > QD0071 Analytical chemistry
Depositing User: Alaa Abdul-Sada
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 07:27
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2015 07:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/58768
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