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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #348357

Research Project: Managing and Conserving Diverse Bee Pollinators for Sustainable Crop Production and Wildland Preservation

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

Title: Workshop on pesticide exposure assessment paradigm for non-Apis bees: foundation and summaries

Author
item Boyle, Natalie
item Alix, Anne - Dow Agro Sciences
item Lehmann, David - Us Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
item Oneill, Bridget - Dupont Crop Protection
item Thompson, Helen - Syngenta
item Morandin, Lora - Pollinator Partnership
item Singh, Rajwinder - Basf Corporation North America
item Abbott, John - Syngenta Crop Protection
item Raine, Nigel - University Of Guelph
item Cox-foster, Diana
item Pitts Singer, Theresa
item Hiranejos, Silvia - Valent Usa Corporation
item Steeger, Thomas - Us Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Current pesticide risk assessment practices focus on the honey bee as a surrogate to characterize the likelihood of chemical exposure of a candidate pesticide for all bee species (and other pollinators), including non-honey bees. Bees make up a diverse insect group that provides critical pollination services to both managed and wild ecosystems. Accordingly, they express a diversity of behaviors and vary greatly in their lifestyles and phenology, such as their timing of emergence, degree of sociality and nesting behaviors. While adequate for honey bees, it is broadly felt that current risk assessment procedures do not fully consider all routes of pesticide exposure for non-honey bees. For those that possess life histories that are separate from A. mellifera, further risk assessments may be warranted. In January 2017, forty bee researchers, representative of regulatory agencies, academia and agrochemical industries, gathered to discuss the current state of science on pesticide exposure to non-honey bees and to determine how well honey bee exposure estimates may be protective for these other bees. Workshop participants determined that while current risk assessment procedures were largely conservative for honey bees, many research gaps were identified that warranted further investigation. Here, we discuss routes of exposure relevant to non-honey bees and identify critical research gaps that can help inform future bee risk assessment decisions.

Technical Abstract: Current pesticide risk assessment practices use the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., as a surrogate to characterize the likelihood of chemical exposure of a candidate pesticide for all bee species (and other pollinators). Bees make up a diverse insect group that provides critical pollination services to both managed and wild ecosystems. Accordingly, they display a diversity of behaviors and vary greatly in their lifestyles and phenology, such as their timing of emergence, degree of sociality and nesting behaviors. Some of these factors may lead to disparate or variable routes of exposure when compared to honey bees. For those that possess life histories that are distinct from A. mellifera, further risk assessments may be warranted. In January 2017, forty bee researchers, representative of regulatory agencies, academia and agrochemical industries, gathered to discuss the current state of science on pesticide exposure to non-Apis bees and to determine how well honey bee exposure estimates, implemented by different regulatory agencies, may be protective for non-Apis bees. Workshop participants determined that although current risk assessment procedures for honey bees are largely conservative, several routes of exposure are unique to non-Apis bees and warranted further investigation. In this forum article, we discuss these key routes of exposure relevant to non-Apis bees and identify important research gaps that can help inform future bee risk assessment decisions.