Golf Course Management

NOV 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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research V v Operation pollinator is a way for golf course managers to encourage populations of bees and other pollinators with diverse plantings of nectar-producing fowers. For more information, see the April 2013 issue of GCM (http://gcmdigital.gcsaa. org/i/118283/111). Photo by Emily Dobbs v The research says ➔ Populations of bees and other insect pollinators are declining worldwide, potentially threatening the productivity of agricultural crops and natural plant communities. ➔ No one factor is causing bee decline; multiple interacting stresses such as habitat loss, pathogens, parasites, changes in beekeeping practices and other factors are in play. ➔ Exposure to certain pesticides can weaken bee colonies and make them more vulnerable to other stress agents. ➔ Our research shows that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect bee health when flowering turf weeds are contaminated by sprays; once the treated site has been irrigated and mowed, the systemic hazard appears negligible. ➔ Chlorantraniliprole, representing a different chemical class, appears to be non-hazardous to bees. ➔ Superintendents can help conserve pollinators by adhering to label precautions when applying insecticides and by incorporating flowering plants in naturalized roughs. 88 GCM November 2013 Conclusions Responsible use of insecticides on golf courses is not contributing to pollinator decline. However, public perception is important, so professionals who apply pesticides must diligently follow label precautions when using neonicotinoids on or around fowering plants. The U.S. EPA has added new label warnings to these products to highlight their potential hazards to bees. Recent restrictions on neonicotinoid usage in Europe and Canada underscore why it is important for turfgrass managers in the U.S. to be good stewards of these tools so that they will continue to be available. Golf course superintendents can also contribute to pollinator conservation by using targetselective insecticides, and by diversifying the golf course to provide food plants and habitat for bees and other pollinators. Funding We thank the United States Golf Association, the University of Kentucky's Nursery Endowment Fund and the Bobby C. Pass Research Endowment for helping to support this research. Acknowledgments We also thank Syngenta for supporting the Kentucky Operation Pollinator project, and A. Kesheimer, C.T. Redmond, E. Dobbs and S. Marksbury for technical assistance. Literature cited 1. Blacquière, T., G. Smagghe, C.A.M. van Gestel and V. Mommaerts. 2012. Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment. Ecotoxicology 21:973-992. doi:10.1007/s10646-012-0863-x. 2. Calderone, N.W. 2012. Insect pollinated crops, insect pollinators and U.S. agriculture: Trend analysis of aggregate data for the period 1992-2009. PLoS ONE 7(5):e37235. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037235. 3. Dobbs, E.K., and D.A. Potter. 2013. Operation Pollinator for golf courses. Golf Course Management 81(4):100-103. 4. Henry, M., M. Béguin, F. Requier et al. 2012. A common pesticide decreases foraging success and survival in honey bees. Science 336:348-350. doi:10.1126/ science.1215039. 5. Larson, J.L., C.T. Redmond and D.A. Potter. 2012. Comparative impact of an anthranilic diamide and other insecticidal chemistries on benefcial invertebrates and ecosystem services in turfgrass. Pest Management Science 68:740-748. doi:10.1002/ps.2321.10. 6. Larson, J.L., C.T. Redmond and D.A. Potter. 2013. Assessing insecticide hazard to bumble bees foraging on fowering weeds in treated lawns. PLoS ONE 8(6):e66375. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066375. article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0066375. 7. McFrederick, Q.S., and G. LeBuhn. 2006. Are urban parks refuges for bumble bees Bombus spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)? Biological Conservation 129:372–382. doi:10.1016/j. biocon.2006.05.014. 8. Potts, S.G., J.C. Biesmeijer, C. Kremen et al. 2010. Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25:345-353. doi:10.1016/j. tree.2010.01.007. 9. Wenfu, M., M.A. Schuler and M.R. Berenbaum. 2013. Honey constituents up-regulate detoxifcation and immunity genes in the western honey bee Apis mellifera. PNAS 110:88428846. 10. Whitehorn, P.R., S. O'Connor, F.L. Wakers and D. Goulson. 2012. Neonicotinoid pesticide reduces bumble bee colony growth and queen production. Science 336:351-352. doi:10.1126/science.1215025. GCM Jonathan L. Larson is a doctoral candidate and Daniel A. Potter ( is a professor in the department of entomology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

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