The Risk of Pesticides to Wild Bees
Crop losses to pests are a major problem in sustaining production, and often, pesticides are used as the first line of defense against pests. However, the indiscriminate use of pesticides often impacts negatively on beneficial insects – insects that provide essential ecosystem services such as natural pest control and pollination. While pesticide risk assessment procedures for honey bees have been well elaborated as part of pesticide evaluations, existing registration procedures are based only on the European honey bee – and not generally field-tested in developing countries.
AGP, together with partners in Brazil, Kenya and the Netherlands, have developed a tool to better understand the pesticide exposure of key crop pollinators (honey bees, but also wild bees) through the development of risk profiles for cropping systems in Brazil, Kenya and the Netherlands.
In this publication, generic profiles are proposed, providing a structured assessment of the potential risks from pesticides to bees in a given crop situation while making explicit and data knowledge gaps.