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Inhalt: Laboratory, semi-field and field

The ICPPR Semi-Field/Field Testing (SF/FT) workgroup consists of several ‘writing groups’ that are developing technical guidance focused on 4 separate but related topics: 1) designing and conducting pollen and nectar residue studies, 2) conducting large scale colony feeding studies, 3) updating guidance for conducting semi-field tunnel studies, and 4) design and interpretation of full field studies with bees.

The Residue Study Writing Group is drafting guidance that is designed to increase the consistency, defensibility and utility of bee-relevant residue studies for use in regulatory risk assessment. Areas of focus include:

  • Spatial Scale: (e.g., defining representative sites, minimum # of sites to include);
  • Temporal Scale: (e.g., sample timing, intervals, number of samples, # replicates);
  •  Crop Selection & Sampling Methods: (e.g., selecting appropriate crops and matrices for sampling, choosing sampling methods);
  • Pesticide Application: (e.g., determining the appropriate application timing, rate, intervals);
  • Analytical methods: (e.g., methods validation/recovery, LOQ/LOD); and
  • Statistical analysis: (determination of DT50s, consideration of outliers).

The Large-Scale Colony Feeding Study (LSCFS) Writing Group is drafting guidance to increase the consistency, defensibility and utility of LSCFS for use in regulatory risk assessment.  This guidance is intended to be flexible enough to be used by various stakeholders including regulators, academic and industry researchers, to address specific risk assessment scenarios.  Areas of focus include guidance on: 

  • Regulatory Objectives
  • Hive management – use of standard local beekeeping practices
  • Study design, site locations and hive placement
  • Overwintering and supplemental feeding
  • Varroa and Nosema treatment
  • Swarm control
  • Use of queen excluders
  • Colony size and condition (initial size, growth and overwintering considerations)
  • Genetics
  • Start date of study and length of exposure
  • Sampling scheme for exposure characterization
  • Residue analysis for metabolites
  • Exposure to pesticides from other food sources (other than artificial feeding)
  • Robbing and control contamination
  • Observer bias
  • Endpoints (including estimates of adults, eggs, larvae, pupae, and food stores, overwinter survival, Varroa, Nosema, hive weight)
  • Experimental design, statistical analysis and statistical power
  • Further research needs

The Semi-Field Study Writing Group is developing guidance to provide more standardized procedure for semi-field testing in order to test the impact of a product on honey bee survival, colony development and behaviour under more realistic conditions compared to laboratory studies/conditions. There is a large overlap of semi field studies with OECD 75 studies, field studies and residue studies. The semi field working group is starting to update the existing guidance EPPO 170 for semi field (and field tests) with the focus on the semi field requirements. Areas of focus include flexibility of use by various countries and guidance on:

  • Tunnel design
  • Size of tunnels
  • Size of colonies
  • Homogeneity of colonies
  • Study conduct

The Full Field Writing Group has been developing a common approach to conducting field studies with honeybees. Initially, the regulatory objectives, protection goals and measurement endpoints have been outlined. The primary measurement endpoints for field studies include colony strength, brood pattern and development, foraging activity, food storage and consumption, worker mortality and behaviour and queen and colony health. Draft guideline covering these primary measurement endpoints has been written with a key aspect being the degree of replication possible versus the practical limitations of conducting large scale field studies. An exploratory analysis is being conducted to determine the statistical power of existing field studies to detect certain levels of effects related to the primary measurement endpoints. This will inform the writing group of the optimal replication required to detect effects whilst maintain a methodology that is practically possible to follow in the field.