Standard methods for toxicology research in Apis mellifera

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Journal of Apicultural Research Vol. 52(4)
DOI 10.3896/IBRA.
Date September 2013
Article Titl

Standard methods for toxicology research in Apis mellifera


Piotr Medrzycki, Hervé Giffard, Pierrick Aupinel, Luc P Belzunces, Marie-Pierre Chauzat, Christian Claßen, Marc E Colin, Thierry Dupont, Vincenzo Girolami, Reed Johnson, Yves Le Conte, Johannes Lückmann, Matteo Marzaro, Jens Pistorius, Claudio Porrini, Andrea Schur, Fabio Sgolastra, Noa Simon Delso, Jozef J M van der Steen, Klaus Wallner, Cédric Alaux, David G Biron, Nicolas Blot, Gherardo Bogo, Jean-Luc Brunet, Frédéric Delbac, Marie Diogon, Hicham El Alaoui, Bertille Provost, Simone Tosi and Cyril Vidau


Modern agriculture often involves the use of pesticides to protect crops. These substances are harmful to target organisms (pests and pathogens). Nevertheless, they can also damage non-target animals, such as pollinators and entomophagous arthropods. It is obvious that the undesirable side effects of pesticides on the environment should be reduced to a minimum. Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) are very important organisms from an agricultural perspective and are vulnerable to pesticide-induced impacts. They contribute actively to the pollination of cultivated crops and wild vegetation, making food production possible. Of course, since Apis mellifera occupies the same ecological niche as many other species of pollinators, the loss of honey bees caused by environmental pollutants suggests that other insects may experience a similar outcome. Because pesticides can harm honey bees and other pollinators, it is important to register pesticides that are as selective as possible. In this manuscript, we describe a selection of methods used for studying pesticide toxicity/selectiveness towards Apis mellifera. These methods may be used in risk assessment schemes and in scientific research aimed to explain acute and chronic effects of any target compound on Apis mellifera.


COLOSS, BEEBOOK, Apis mellifera, honey bee, pesticide, exposure, residue, lethal, sublethal, field, semifield, laboratory

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