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Agriculture provides habitat and forage for pollinating insects such as honey bees.
As well as producing honey and a variety of hive products, honey bees perform the ecosystem service of pollination which allows plants to reproduce, provides the fruits, seeds and foliage.The use of plant protection product in agriculture leads to exposure of honey bees to pesticide residues. The oral exposure comes mainly from pollen and nectar consumption from the treated crops, from the weeds in treated field, from plants in field margins and from the adjacent crops where the liquid or solid particles resulting from spray/dust drift might be present.
A minor route of exposure to take into account derived from water consumption in terms of guttation fluids, surface waters and ponds.
Adult worker honeybees are exposed to the test substance dispersed in the diet (sucrose solution) in order to evaluate the mortality and sublethal effects. Mortality and sublethal effects are assessed at 4, 24 and 48 hours after the administration of contaminated diet. If an extention is needed, further observations are carried out at 72 and 96 hours after the beginning of the test.
Adult honey bees of Apis mellifera L.
Range finding test includes at least 3 doses of the test substance and 1 untreated control, at least 2 replicates for treatment and for the control with 10 bees/replicate.
Limit test is carried out with 1 dose of the test substance, 1 toxic reference substance and 1 untreated control, 5 replicates for treatment and for the control with 10 bees/replicate.
Dose-response test includes at least 5 doses of the test substance, 1 toxic reference substance and 1 untreated control, 3 replicates for treatment and for the control with 10 bees/replicate.
Mortality: LDx/NOED and behavioural abnormalities are recorded.
Study includes GLP management and reporting.
REFERENCES AND GUIDELINES
OECD Guideline fo Testing of Chemicals, No. 213 (21st September 1998) - Honeybees, Acute oral toxicity test.