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Restrict the use to formulation types that result in less exposure of bees

Description of the measure

Certain pesticide formulations, under certain circumstances, may result in reduced exposure of bees. For instance, slow-release formulations, baits, seed treatment, soil-applied granules will often cause less exposure of bees to the pesticide than foliar sprays.

However, this is not always the case. Seed treatments need to be of high quality to avoid abrasion and pesticide dust emission during seed drilling; baits may reduce exposure as long as they are not attractive to bees; soil-applied formulations and seed coatings may still lead to exposure of bees if the pesticide is systemic and can translocate to pollen, nectar or guttation fluids; slow-release formulations in the form of micro-globules may be mistaken for pollen and transported into the hive.

Therefore, the exact formulation type in combination with its actual use in the field, will determine whether specific formulation types effectively reduce the risk of the pesticide to bees.

Conditions for effective implementation

Lower risk pesticide formulations should be sufficiently efficacious against the target pest(s) for which the pesticide should be registered.

The pesticide should not be systemic, to the extent that toxic concentrations accumulate in pollen, nectar or guttation fluids.

Estimated risk reduction potential

Risk reduction of up to 100% may be achieved by restricting the use of the pesticide to specific low-risk formulations. However, often some residual risk may remain if exposure cannot be excluded completely.

Potential constraints

If the pesticide is registered only in a specific low-risk formulation, farmers (or other users) may need to receive additional advice and training in the use of the product.

Also, specific formulations may be costlier.

Further information

Further information on pesticide risk reduction for bees can be found in the MAgPIE workshop report – Mitigating the risks of plant protection products in the environment. Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) {INSERTLINK as soon as we have one}