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Research Article Open Access

Agrochemical Application Practices and their Level of Toxicity on Honeybee


In Ethiopia, the need for agrochemicals in agriculture is increasing but the unwise application has a subsequent effect on honeybees. Hence, the study was aimed to assess agrochemical application practices and identify the toxicity level of agrochemical on honeybee (Apis mellifera bandasii) at Lemo district, Southern Ethiopia. A multi-stage purposive sampling technique was used and one hundred five respondents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Toxicity of pesticides was identified using laboratory via feeding, contact, and vapor test. The survey data were analyzed by SPSS version 22·0 while the mortality of bees was analyzed using one-way analysis of variance employing Procedure of SAS. About 45% of the respondents applied agrochemical to their crops during bees’ active foraging times. On sprayed fields, 53·6% of the beekeepers found dead bees, while, 28.6% faced the absconding bee colony. Among the respondents, 74·7% could not understand instructions and labels written on packages and bottles of agrochemical. Malathion, Mancozeb, Pallas, Zura, Richway, and Ridomil used in different tests were significantly (P<0·05) toxic from the negative control.

The mean Lethal Dose (LD50) of Malathion was <0.1 μl/bee, which indicates highly toxic. The mean LD50 of Pallas, Mancozeb, and Zura were 7-8 μl/bee, 7.5-8 μg/bee, and 6-7 μl/bee, respectively which indicate moderately toxic, whereas Richway and Ridomil were 11-12 μg/bee and 10-11 μg/bee respectively which indicate slightly toxic to the honeybee. The study concluded that agrochemical applications that occurred during optimal honeybee foraging time have a great chance to be exposed to Agrochemical; respondents had low awareness of safe handling and disposal of empty containers with low use of safety precautions. Hence, less persistent agrochemicals are used by farmers and applied in the evening when bees were not flying. Besides, training of farmers on empty container and packages handling should be given.

Eskindir Amanuel, Amssalu Bezabeh, Moges Dereje

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