AgroChemex Environmental can offer both acute and chronic laboratory exposure studies. Studies can be conducted using honeybees (Apis melifera) or can be adapted for bumble and solitary bees.

Acute Toxicity Tests

OECD 213: Honeybees, Acute Oral Toxicity Test

OECD 214: Honeybees, Acute Contact Toxicity Test

Studies can be conducted to assess the lethal toxicity of a chemical to bees when exposed on a single occasion. These can be conducted as either contact or oral exposure studies.

Adult worker honeybees are exposed to a range of doses of the test item diluted in water, by direct application onto the thorax or by inclusion in the feed. The behaviour and mortality are assessed over a 48 hour period. If the mortality rate is increasing between 24 and 48 h whilst control mortality remains at an accepted level, i.e. <10% it is appropriate to extend the duration of the test to a maximum of 96 hours.

From the results the LD50 at 24 and 48 hours can be determined, and in cases where the study is prolonged, at 72 and 96 hours.

Chronic Toxicity

The chronic oral toxic effect of a chemical on honeybees can be assessed. The study design is based on the results from the draft report for a ring test for a forthcoming OECD test guideline on the testing of chemicals on adult honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) in a 10 day chronic feeding test in the laboratory.

Freshly emerged (1 to 4 days old) honeybees are exposed to a range of doses of the test item dispersed in feeding solution and their behaviour and mortality assessed over a 10 day period.

All test cages are provided with 50% sucrose solution in water, containing the test or reference item, at each of the concentrations in a bee feeder. Food is provided ad libitum throughout the exposure period and the consumption of feed solution is monitored daily.

Mortality and behavioural effects are recorded and categorised periodically throughout the study. Behavioural abnormalities such as symptoms of poisoning or any abnormal behaviour in comparison to the controls are also recorded.