Review of the methods to determine the hazard and toxicity of pesticides to bumblebees

J.J.M. van der Steen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    Methods to determine the impact of pesticides on bumblebees are described. They are classified into laboratory tests to determine the acute toxicity and the hazard to bumblebees, (semi) field tests, and brood tests. The reproducibility and the significance of the data for practical purpose are discussed. Standardized laboratory toxicity tests supply reproducible data. In hazard tests, both in the laboratory and semi field tests, the exposure is not proportionate to the number of adult insects and the brood. Field tests provide realistic data on the hazard of a pesticide to bumblebee colonies but when the results are interpreted it must be taken in account that the test plot is only a portion of the total foraging area of a bumblebee colony. In a brood nest, due to the disorderly structure, only major effects can be recognized. Laboratory rearing of bumblebee brood should be developed to produce a standardized brood test that supplies reproducible data
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)399-406
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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