From lab to field: a solid methodology for Bombus terrestris dalmatinus side effect studies

Affiliation
IPM Impact, Hasselt, Belgium
Sterk, Guido;
Affiliation
IPM Impact, Hasselt, Belgium
Hanegraaf, Janna;
Affiliation
tier3 solutions, Leverkusen, Germany
Persigehl, Markus;
GND
132350815
Affiliation
tier3 solutions, Leverkusen, Germany
Rossbach, Andrea;
Affiliation
IPM Impact, Hasselt, Belgium
Kolokytha, Paraskevi

A solid methodology for trials testing the side effects of PPPs on the large earth bumblebee, Bombus terrestris dalmatinus, from the laboratory to large-scale field studies is presented with a stepwise approach. The study designs may serve various purposes, such as practical help regarding commercial pollination, safeguarding biodiversity or for risk assessments in the registration process under GLP. In order to achieve high uniformity between bumblebee colonies, specially standardized R&D colonies (IPM Impact-Koppert) are used and adapted to the different test designs. The initial step is the study under laboratory conditions, through simulating the three possible means of bumblebee exposure to the compound: acute contact, oral by sugar water and/or by pollen. The products are mainly tested according to the maximum field recommended concentration (MFRC), but a sequential dilution testing scheme may be applied to the oral sugar water exposure, if triggered. In the next step, simulating a more field-realistic but still controlled exposure scenario, R&D colonies can be tested under semi-field conditions in a tunnel set-up. The test design can be customised according to the specific requirements. The final step, if needed, is to monitor bumblebees in a field study where colonies are exposed to the product in a common agricultural landscape. In all study types, the following assessment parameters are recorded at regular intervals during the experimental phase: the presence/vitality of the mother queen, colony strength, colony weight, brood volume, the number of queen-brood cells, and the number of newly-formed queens (gynes). In a final assessment of the colonies, the reproduction rate of the control and treated colonies expressed as number of newly formed queens and, if possible, drones and the colony strength as the number of worker bees is compared at the end of the experiment. In conclusion, an extrapolation of study results to commercial colonies used in practice for pollination and/or to natural colonies, concerning biodiversity, will be provided.

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