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Honey Bee Toxicity Statement

In 2010 CRD issued a statement saying that it had come to our attention that some testing facilities had conducted acute oral and contact toxicity studies on honeybees that referenced OECD 213 and 214 respectively, but that were not strictly in accordance with these protocols.

These studies had reportedly housed the bees separately. This is not advised for studies involving honeybees as they are social insects. A nonstandard feeding method had also been used that involves anaesthetising the bees and feeding them individually with a micropipette whilst they were restrained. A nonstandard contact toxicity test was also noted, which involved no anaesthetisation and restraint of the bees in a syringe whilst dosing. These methods are not in accordance with any accepted guidance [EPPO 170 (3); OECD 213; OECD 214]. Studies employing these methods will not be accepted by CRD.

The following is taken directly from EPPO 170(3) and should be followed for the acute oral studies:

"A dose of 10 or 20 μL of test solution per bee should be supplied through single-use feeders. By group feeding, bees share the test solution between themselves and so receive similar doses."

Group feeding and housing for the oral tests and anaesthetisation for the contact tests are essential for these studies to be accepted by CRD.

Further Information

Updated 2016-12-01