The effects of insecticides on honey bee (Apis mellifera) population in two selected farming communities (Damongo and Larabanga) of West Gonja District in the Northern Region Of Ghana

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Honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the prominent and most economically important group of pollinators, whose populations have declined over recent years, raising widespread concern. One conspicuous threat to honey bees is their unintended exposure to insecticides. Insecticides, once absorbed into the plant; can be present in pollen and nectar, making these flora resources toxic to pollinators that feed on them. This study therefore examined the toxic effects of insecticides on honey bees in some selected farming communities (Damongo and Larabanga) in the Northern Region of Ghana. To achieve this objective, an oral interview was conducted on forty farmers from the two communities where the bees were obtained and reared in the Damongo Agricultural Training College where the study took place. The data collected showed that three types of insecticides namely Controller Super 2.5 EC, Pyrinex 48 EC, and Golan SL were the commonly used insecticides in the area. The number of dead bees recorded after application of each concentration of the various insecticides were counted and used for the estimation of LC50. The results showed that Pyrinex 48 EC was the most toxic to honey bees in laboratory studies with calculated LC50 (1hour) value of 1.10 ± 0.37 ml/L, 1.86 ± 0.53 ml/L for Controller Super 2.5 EC, and 2.45 ± 0.83 ml/L for Golan SL. However, the mortalities of the honey bees at the various concentrations were directly related to the duration of exposure. A lower concentration of the insecticides when exposed to the honey bees for a longer period caused higher mortality than exposure of the honey bees to a higher concentration for a shorter period. Although mitigation efforts have had a limited impact, it is expected that the policy recommendations of this study if adopted and strictly adhere to will help reduce, if not completely ameliorate the unintended impact of insecticides on pollinating insects.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Theoretical and Applied Biology, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements Master of Science degree in Environmental Science.