Aspects determining the risk of pesticides to wild bees: risk profiles for focal crops on three continents

  • Harold van der Valk
  • Irene Koomen
  • Roberta C. F. Nocelli
  • Marcia de F. Ribeiro
  • Beno M. Freitas
  • Stephan Carvalho
  • John M. Kasina
  • Dino Martins
  • Martha Mutiso
  • Christopher Odhiambo
  • Wanja Kinuthia
  • Mary Gikungu
  • Paul Ngaruiya
  • Gladis Maina
  • Pamela Kipyab
  • Tjeerd Blacquière
  • Jozef van der Steen
  • Ivo Roessink
  • Jacoba Wassenberg
  • Barbara Gemmill-Herren


In order to conduct a proper risk assessment of pesticides to bees, information is needed in three areas:
  1. the toxicity of the pesticide;
  2. the probability of bee exposure to that pesticide; and
  3. the population dynamics of the bee species in question.

Information was collected on such factors affecting pesticide risk to (primarily wild) bees in several crops in Brazil, Kenya and The Netherlands. These data were used to construct ‘risk profiles’ of pesticide use for bees in the studied cropping systems. Data gaps were identified and potential risks of pesticides to bees were compared between the crops. Initially, risk profiling aims to better identify gaps in our present knowledge. In the longer term, the established risk profiles may provide structured inputs into risk assessment models for wild and managed bees, and lead to recommendations for specific risk mitigation measures.

Keywords: pesticide, exposure, risk, wild bees, risk profile