Please enter verification code
Evaluating the Toxicity Effect of Euphorbia Contifolia on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) at Field Condition
International Journal of Ecotoxicology and Ecobiology
Volume 2, Issue 4, December 2017, Pages: 145-149
Received: Aug. 18, 2017; Accepted: Aug. 30, 2017; Published: Sep. 26, 2017
Views 1907      Downloads 142
Alemayehu Gela, Oromia Agriculturalral Research Institute, Holeta Bee Research Center, Holeta, Ethiopia
Taye Negara, Oromia Agriculturalral Research Institute, Holeta Bee Research Center, Holeta, Ethiopia
Article Tools
Follow on us
The recent decline of honey bee population raises speculations from different angles. Exposure to poisoning substances is proposed as prime factor for honeybee deaths and colony reduction. Euphorbia contifolia, commonly known as “key abeba” is suspected as poisonousplant to honeybees and other animals in different regions of Ethiopia. An attempt was made to test the phytotoxic effect of this plant on honeybees in Illubabora and Jimma zones of Oromia region. Questioner survey and controlled experiment were used to assess the effect of E.contifolia on honeybees during its flowering season. Data on numberof dead adult bees and bee broods were counted at every 3hr, 4hr, 5hr, 6hr and 12hr of the day for five consecutive days. The survey result indicates that anaverage of 52% of the respondents of the two zones suspected that E. contifolia causes death and narcosis of foraging bees. In contrast, the mean mortality rate of adult and brood bees between the treatment and control group did not significantly differ (P >0.05), and no any narcosis symptom observed during the experimental test. This demonstratesthe absence of distinct toxic effect of the plant on honeybees. However, further study on the plant’s nectar and pollen active compound is recommended to reach into full understanding.
Honeybees, E. Contifolia, Toxicity, Nectar, Pollen, Narcosis
To cite this article
Alemayehu Gela, Taye Negara, Evaluating the Toxicity Effect of Euphorbia Contifolia on Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) at Field Condition, International Journal of Ecotoxicology and Ecobiology. Vol. 2, No. 4, 2017, pp. 145-149. doi: 10.11648/j.ijee.20170204.12
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abubakar, E. (2009). "Antibacterial activity of crude extracts of Euphorbia hirta against some bacteria associated with enteric infections." Journal Medicine Plant Research 3(7): 498-505.
Abo KA. Characterisation of ingenol: an inflammatory diterpene from some Nigerian Euphorbia and Elaeophorbia species. Afr J Med Med Sci 1994; 23(2):161-163.
Adler, L. S. and R. E. Irwin (2005). "Ecological costs and benefits of defenses in nectar." Ecology 86(11): 2968-2978.
Adler, L. S. (2000). "The ecological significance of toxic nectar." Oikos 91(3): 409-420.
Aizen, M. A. and L. D. Harder (2009). "The global stock of domesticated honey bees is growing slower than agricultural demand for pollination." Curr Biol 19(11): 915-918.
Barla A, Öztürk M, Kültür S, Öksüz S (2007). Screening of antioxidant activity of three Euphorbia species from Turkey. Fitoterapia 78(6):423-425.
Bell, C. R. (1971). Breeding systems and floral biology of the Umbelliferae, or evidence forspecialization in unspecialized flowers
Crane, E. (1978). "Dead bees under lime trees. Sugars poisonous to bees." Bee world 58.
Desneux, N., A. Decourtye, et al. (2007). "The sublethal effects of pesticides on beneficial arthropods." Annu. Rev. Entomol. 52: 81-106.
Detzel, A. and M. Wink (1993). "Attraction, deterrence or intoxication of bees (Apis mellifera) by plant allelochemicals." Chemoecology 4(1): 8-18.
Henry, M., M. Beguin, et al. (2012). "A common pesticide decreases foraging success and survival in honey bees." Science 336(6079): 348-350.
Isaac K., Javad Y. and Ali G. (2010). “Ocular Toxicity caused by Euphorbia sap”. Iranian J. of pharmacology and therapeutics. 9: 37-39.
Jassbi, A. R. (2006). "Chemistry and biological activity of secondary metabolites in< i> Euphorbia from Iran." Phytochemistry 67(18): 1977-1984.
Johnson, R. (2011). Honey bee colony collapse disorder, DIANE Publishing.
Lovell, J. H. (1926). "Honey plants of North America." AI Root Co., Medina, OH.
Majak, W., R. Neufeld, et al. (1980). "Toxicity of Astragalus miser v. serotinus to the honeybee." Journal of Apicultural Research 19(3): 196-199.
Mussen, E. C. 1979. Buckeye poisoning. U.C. Apiaries: Univ. of California CooperativeExtension: 1–4.
Nuru A. (1996). Poisonous honey source plant (Justicia shimperiana) in AgewMider area inNorthwest part of Ethiopia (case study report). Holetta Bee Research Centre, Holetta, Ethiopia.
Nuru, A. and H. Hepburn (2001). "Pollen grains of some poisonous bee plants of Ethiopia." Proc. 37th Int. Apic. Congr 28.
Potts, S. G., J. C. Biesmeijer, et al. (2010). "Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers." Trends in ecology & evolution 25(6): 345-353.
Potts, S. G., S. P. Roberts, et al. (2009). "Declines of managed honey bees and beekeepers in Europe." Journal of Apicultural Research 49(1): 15-22.
Rojas, J., J. Velasco, et al. (2008). "Evaluation of antibacterial activity on different solvent extracts of Euphorbia caracasana Boiss and Euphorbia Contifolia L.(Euphorbiaceae) collected in Venezuela." Boletín Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Plantas Medicinales y Aromáticas 7(4): 198-201.
Upadhyay, R., F. Bakhtavar, et al. (1980). "Screening of Euphorbia from Azarbaijan for skin irritant activity and for diterpenes." Planta Medica 38(02): 151-154.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186