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

Valk, H. van der; Koomen, I.; Blacquiere, T.; Steen, J.J.M. van der; Roessink, I.; Wassenberg, J.


Globally, agricultural production systems are under pressure to meet multiple challenges: to sustain or increase production from the same area of land and reduce negative impacts on the environment amid uncertainties resulting from climate change. As farming systems adapt to meet these challenges, one of agriculture’s greatest assets in meeting them is nature itself. Many of the ecosystem services provided by nature – such as pollination – directly contribute to agricultural production. Beneficial insects such as pollinators may be heavily impacted by pesticides. This document makes a contribution to understanding the context of pesticide exposure of key crop pollinators – honey bees, but also wild bee species – through the development of risk profiles for cropping systems in Brazil, Kenya and the Netherlands. Risk profiles such as those showcased here can provide a qualitative evaluation of pesticide risks to bees in specific settings, and can be used to compare risks between different settings, facilitate discussion amongst stakeholders, identify gaps in information, set priorities for research, and establish priorities for risk mitigation.