Exposure by nesting material? – Investigation of potentially suitable methods for higher tier studies with solitary bees
The registration processes and risk assessment of plant protection products (PPPs) on bees resulted in an increasing need for experiments with non-apis pollinators to assess potential side effects of PPPs on this relatively new group of test organisms. Recently, numerous studies have been performed but there is still a wide range of ongoing challenges. One of the challenges is the risk from insecticide exposure to solitary bees (especially at larval stages) by contaminated nesting material (e.g. mud partitions – mason bees). In 2017, an experiment was performed with the horn-faced mason bee Osmia cornuta (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae) under modified field conditions. The aim of the experiment was to develop a suitable test method for higher tier risk assessments with solitary wild bees exposed to treated nesting material. The potential effect of an insect growth regulator (IGR) to bees and their brood was examined. The reproduction capacity and brood termination rate were observed in the study as endpoints. Furthermore, hatching success and flight activity were recorded as additional information at several occasions.The present results provide no evidence that the exposure has an effect on the development during the larval stages of Osmia cornuta, neither in pollen mass nor in the nesting material.