POTENTIAL HAZARD OF PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS TO HONEY BEE LARVAE

One of the standard elements of risk assessment is to define a ‘worst-case scenario’. In our research we are trying to determine the potential hazard of plant protection products or its active ingredients to honey bee larvae in vitro reared.

After the introduction of OECD 237 (2013) at Department of Toxicology (UVLF Košice), some more important questions had raised (please read below). 

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SOME DOUBTS ABOUT INTERPRETATION OF OECD 237 (2013) RESULTS

EFSA bee guidance (2013) considers the oral exposure of the larvae over the entire developmental period in the risk assessment schemes while the larvae are feeding. 

The OECD 237 protocol (2013) aims at the determination of the lethal dose seventy-two hours (72-h LD50) following single exposure of larvae to a chemical compound. The obtained results are commonly used in plant protection products registration process in EU, but our experiences showed that these data have just informative (supportive) character to pesticide active ingredient or formulation profile.

The main problem we see is the exact quantification of the exposure level to larvae at the end of test (on D7) in the case of presence of uneaten diet on the bottom of cell. Secondly, the test is terminated on D7, not on D22 like in OECD 239, repeated exposure; ENV/JM/MONO (2016)34, it means important question remains: would in vitro reared larvae inhibited in growth develop to mature stage?

Another and more important question is how to apply this observation to the practice, from organism level (larva) to colony level? And to which extent will it be relevant? This should be reflected in future research.

For better understanding please visit our gallery, thanks.

 

Dr. Rastislav Sabo, PhD, University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice, Komenského 73, 041 81, Košice, Slovakia

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