Wild bee toxicity data for pesticide risk assessments
Pollination services are vital for agriculture, food security and biodiversity. Although many insect species provide pollination services, honeybees are thought to be the major provider of this service to agriculture. However, the importance of wild bees in this respect should not be overlooked. Whilst regulatory risk assessment processes have, for a long time, included that for pollinators, using honeybees (Apis mellifera) as a protective surrogate, there are concerns that this approach may not be suffciently adequate particularly because of global declines in pollinating insects. Consequently, risk assessments are now being expanded to include wild bee species such as bumblebees (Bombus spp.) and solitary bees (Osmia spp.). However, toxicity data for these species is scarce and are absent from the main pesticide reference resources. The aim of the study described here was to collate data relating to the acute toxicity of pesticides to wild bee species (both topical and dietary exposure) from published regulatory documents and peer reviewed literature, and to incorporate this into one of the main online resources for pesticide risk assessment data: The Pesticide Properties Database, thus ensuring that the data is maintained and continuously kept up to date. The outcome of this study is a dataset collated from 316 regulatory and peer reviewed articles that contains 178 records covering 120 different pesticides and their variants which includes 142 records for bumblebees and a further 115 records for other wild bee species.