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

A.R. Cabrera, M.T. Almanza, G.C. Cutler, D.L. Fischer, S. Hinarejos, G. Lewis, D. Nigro, A. Olmstead, J. Overmyer, D.A. Potter, N.E. Raine, C. Stanley-Stahr, H. Thompson, J.J.M. van der Steen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


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 U.S.A. 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 semi-field (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
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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