Pesticide Risk Assessment: Update of the latest laboratory ring test results with bumble bee and solitary bees

Category : 2014

December 3, 2014

Lukas Jeker, Dr. Knoell Consult GmbH; (Co-authors, Lea Franke, Christina Rehberg, Carsten A. Brühl, Universität Koblenz-Landau)

Lukas Jeker

Lukas joined the Knoell group in 2013 after working 22 years as team leader, study director and research technician, in the field of terrestrial ecotoxicology in R&D agrochemical companies and contract research organizations conducting lower and higher tier regulatory studies with non-target arthropods. An educated beekeeper, he became specialized in the field of regulatory studies with bees. He is a member and expert of international panels and working groups and has actively participated on international ring tests. Hence, he has extensive knowledge in regulatory studies with pollinators, study design, method development and trial methodology.

The vast majority of pollinators are non-Apis bees with approximately 70 bumblebee species and more than 600 solitary bee species listed in Europe. In consequence, the proposed EFSA bee risk assessment procedure for registration of plant protection products strives to take all bee species into consideration. This resulted in a need for new methodologies for lower and higher tier studies with solitary bees and bumble bees. At the SETAC Brussels meeting in October 2013, the working group Non Apis started. The approach was to conduct an international ring-test on agreed protocols for acute contact and oral laboratory studies with bumble bees and solitary bees. In this context, an acute contact toxicity tests with several European Non-Apis bee species of the agricultural landscape were conducted to obtain information on the inter-species sensitivity of Non-Apis and Apis mellifera. Additionally, the relationship between Non-Apis bee size and sensitivity was examined. Furthermore a semi-field method with the solitary bee species Osmia bicornis, the red mason bee, using micro tunnels with a crop area of 18 m2 per tunnel was designed and conducted. Main objective was to examine whether the limited food supply (nectar and honey) is sufficient for a reliable reproduction phase.

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