Detailed brood evaluation under field conditions: advantages and disadvantages
Bee brood studies under semi-field conditions according to OECD GD 75 display a strong variability of the brood termination rates (BTRs) as the key endpoint. Therefore, the ICP-PR Bee Brood Group considered the performance of EPPO 170 field studies using the OECD GD 75 bee brood evaluation as one option to achieve more reliable BTR data. This approach was envisaged already some years ago and used for several years. However, broader data sets supporting the benefit of this combined methodology were still lacking. The analysis of current field studies performed since 2012 indicate that control BTRs were approximately half the size compared to values observed under semi-field conditions. Moreover, results give a strong indication that the BTR values under field conditions are more reliable and less variabel. Therefore, the combined method is a valuable tool to investigate potential effects of a plant protection product on the bee brood to refine the risk under realistic exposure conditions.