Recent experimental and in-field evidence of the deleterious effects of insecticides on the domestic honey bee Apis mellifera have led to a tightening of the risk assessment requirements of these products, and now more attention is being paid to their sublethal effects on other bee species. In addition to traditional tests, in vitro and in silico approaches may become essential tools for a comprehensive understanding of the impact of insecticides on bee species. Here we present a study in which electrophysiology and a Markovian multi-state modelling of the voltage-gated sodium channel were used to measure the susceptibility of the antennal lobe neurons from Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris, to the pyrethroids tetramethrin and esfenvalerate. Voltage-gated sodium channels from Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris are differentially sensitive to pyrethroids. In both bee species, the level of neuronal activity played an important role in their relative sensitivity to pyrethroids. This work supports the notion that honey bees cannot unequivocally be considered as a surrogate for other bee species in assessing their neuronal susceptibility to insecticides.