Effects of spinosad on honey bees (<em>Apis mellifera</em>): Findings from over ten years of testing and commercial use

  • Mark J. Miles
  • Anne Alix
  • Chloe Bourgouin
  • Stephan Schmitzer

Abstract

Background: Spinosad is widely used as an insecticide in crop protection against thysanopteran, lepidopteran and dipteran species. As such it is intrinsically toxic to insects and among them to the honey bee (Apis mellifera). An updated risk assessment is presented in the context of the regulatory evaluation of spinosad products and is in accordance with the latest recommendation of regulatory guidance documents.

Results: The intrinsic toxicity to the honey bee as observed in laboratory conditions through oral and contact tests on adults does not appear to impair honey bee colonies when exposed to treated attractive crops in tunnel conditions. Reasons for this could include reduced availability of residues of the product on plant surface compared to laboratory conditions, together with a fast dissipation from treated plants and the absence of active degradation products.

Conclusions: Spinosad products present a negligible impact on honey bees when used under the current label recommendations and conditions of agricultural use. This conclusion deduced from data available for the regulatory risk assessment has been confirmed by the feedback of surveys on incidents, which address the potential impact of spinosad products under realistic conditions of exposure, including other environmental and chemical factors that are common in cropped areas.

Keywords: honey bee, pesticide, risk assessment, risk management, spinosad

Autor/innen-Biografie

Mark J. Miles
Background: Spinosad is widely used as an insecticide in crop protection against thysanopteran, lepidopteran and dipteran species. As such it is intrinsically toxic to insects and among them to the honey bee (Apis mellifera). An updated risk assessment is presented in the context of the regulatory evaluation of spinosad products and is in accordance with the latest recommendation of regulatory guidance documents.
Results: The intrinsic toxicity to the honey bee as observed in laboratory conditions through oral and contact tests on adults does not appear to impair honey bee colonies when exposed to treated attractive crops in tunnel conditions. Reasons for this could include reduced availability of residues of the product on plant surface compared to laboratory conditions, together with a fast dissipation from treated plants and the absence of active degradation products.
Conclusions: Spinosad products present a negligible impact on honey bees when used under the current label recommendations and conditions of agricultural use. This conclusion deduced from data available for the regulatory risk assessment has been confirmed by the feedback of surveys on incidents, which address the potential impact of spinosad products under realistic conditions of exposure, including other environmental and chemical factors that are common in cropped areas.
Keywords: honey bee, pesticide, risk assessment, risk management, spinosad
Veröffentlicht
2012-10-02