Initial recommendations for higher-tier risk assessment protocols for bumble bees, Bombus spp. (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Ana R. Cabrera, Maria Teresa Almanza, G. Christopher Cutler, David L. Fischer, Silvia Hinarejos, Gavin Lewis, Daniel Nigro, Allen Olmstead, Jay Overmyer, Daniel A. Potter, Nigel E. Raine, Cory Stanley-Stahr, Helen Thompson, Jozef van der Steen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Global declines of bumble bees and other pollinator populations are of concern because of their critical role for crop production and maintenance of wild plant biodiversity. Although the consensus among scientists is that the interaction of many factors, including habitat loss, forage scarcity, diseases, parasites, and pesticides, potentially plays a role in causing these declines, pesticides have received considerable attention and scrutiny. In response, regulatory agencies have introduced more stringent pollinator testing requirements for registration and reregistration of pesticides, to ensure that the risks to pollinators are minimized. In this context, guidelines for testing bumble bees (Bombus spp.) in regulatory studies are not yet available, and a pressing need exists to develop suitable protocols for routine higher-tier studies with these non-Apis sp., social bees. To meet this need, Bayer CropScience LP, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC US, and Valent USA. Corporation organized a workshop bringing together a group of global experts on bumble bee behavior, ecology, and ecotoxicology to discuss and develop draft protocols for both semi-field (Tier II) and field (Tier III) studies. The workshop was held May 8-9, 2014, at the Bayer Bee Care Center, North Carolina, USA. The participants represented academic, consulting, and industry scientists from Europe, Canada, the United States, and Brazil. The workshop identified a clear protection goal and generated proposals for basic experimental designs, relevant measurements, and endpoints for both semifield (tunnel) and field tests. These initial recommendations are intended to form the basis of discussions to help advance the development of appropriate protocol guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 SETAC.


  • Agrochemicals
  • Bumble bee
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Endpoints
  • Insecticides
  • Pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science


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