Aluminum is the third most prevalent element in the earth’s crust. In most conditions, it is tightly bound to form inaccessible compounds, however in low soil pH, the ionized form of aluminum can be taken up by plant roots and distributed throughout the plant tissue. Following this uptake, nectar and pollen concentrations in low soil pH regions can reach nearly 300 mg/kg. Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) has been demonstrated following aluminum exposure in mammal and aquatic invertebrate species. In honey bees, behaviors consistent with AChE inhibition have been previously recorded; however, the physiological mechanism has not been tested, nor has aversive conditioning.
This article presents results of ingested aqueous aluminum chloride exposure on AChE as well as acute exposure effects on aversive conditioning in an
These findings, in comparison to previous studies, suggest that aluminum toxicity in honey bees may depend on exposure period, subspecies, and study metrics. Further studies are encouraged at the moderate-high exposure concentrations asmore »