Honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees are vitally important pollinator insects. They provide a host of ecosystem services such as honey and other products including wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly and venom. Most importantly they provide pollination of agricultural crops and wild plants. It is therefore essential either to demonstrate bee safety or to determine measures to minimize bees' contact with crop protection products.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently issued a new Guidance Document which proposes a tiered risk assessment scheme including non-Apis species (Bombus spp. (Bumble bees) and solitary bees) as well as honey bees (Apis mellifera). When this guidance document is officially noted this testing scheme will become mandatory.
Fera has more than 25 years expertise in conducting bee safety laboratory studies, semi-field and field studies, combining this with our co-location with the UK National Bee Unit and our collaboration with Atlantic Pollination Ltd allows us to extend our offer to all areas of bee testing.