Results of Ring-Testing of a Semifield Study Design to Investigate Potential Impacts of Crop Protection Products on Bumblebees (Hymenoptera, Apidae) and a Proposal of a Potential Test Design

Klein, Olaf; Roessink, Ivo; Elston, Charlotte; Franke, Lea; Jütte, Tobias; Knäbe, Silvio; Lückmann, Johannes; van der Steen, Jozef; Allan, Matthew J.; Alscher, Annika; Amsel, Kristin; Cornement, Magdaléna; Exeler, Nina; Guerola, Juan Sorlí; Hodapp, Bettina; Jenkins, Carole; Kimmel, Stefan; Tänzler, Verena


In Europe, the risk assessment for bees at the European Union or national level has always focussed on potential impacts on honeybees. During the revision of the European Food Safety Authority bee guidance it was explicitly stated that bumblebees and solitary bees should be considered as well and consequently concerns were raised regarding the representativeness of honeybees for these other bee species. These concerns originate from differences in size as well as differences in behavioral and life history traits of other bee species. In response to this concern, the non-Apis working group of the International Commission for Plant-Pollinator Relationships initiated a ring-test of a semifield tunnel study design using the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. Nine laboratories participated, validating and improving the proposed design over a 2-year period. The intention of the ring-test experiments was to develop and if possible, establish a test protocol to conduct more standardized semifield tests with bumblebees. In the present study, the results of the ring-tests are summarized and discussed to give recommendations for a promising experimental design. Environ Toxicol Chem 2022;00:1–17.