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EPPO activities related to honeybees honeybee


Background information

Currently in the EU, regulatory evaluations for the effects of pesticides on honeybees are based on the EPPO/Council of Europe risk assessment scheme for honeybees (EPPO Series PP 3 Environmental Risk Assessment Scheme for Plant Protection Products – Chapter 10: Honeybees; first published in 1993, the latest revision in 2010) and on the standard on the conduct of trials for the evaluation of side-effects of plant protection products on honeybees (PP 1/170). The ICPBR ‘Bee Protection Group’ provides the technical input for both EPPO Standards. As part of their ongoing review of pesticide risk assessment for honeybees they identified a number of issues that require further consideration and in response, EPPO asked the group to undertake revision of the two EPPO standards. Within the ICPBR ‘Bee Protection Group’ the Working Groups were set up to address the recently emerged problems of systemic effects through seed and soil treatments, of field and semi-field testing, and honeybee brood testing. 
At the ICPBR- Bee Protection Group 10th Symposium (Bucharest, 2009-10-08/10 - Proceedings published in the Julius-Kühn-Archiv 423, 2009 ) the WGs presented proposals for the revision of EPPO Standards, which were discussed in order to hear the expert comments and recommendations of all 79 participants and to reach a consensus. After the Symposium, the WG coordinators elaborated their proposals with these comments and recommendations. Prior to sending them to EPPO, they were circulated to all delegates for final review. As planned at the Symposium, the ad hoc meeting at the EPPO Headquarters took place (2009-10-15) with the WG coordinators, the Chairman and the Secretary of the ICPBR-Bee Protection Group, as well as with the EFSA representative.The final versions of the revised EPPO standards were prepared and sent to EPPO Member Countries for comment in early 2010. The standards were agreed by the Working Party on Plant Protection Products in May 2010 and finally approved by the EPPO Council in September 2010.


The International Commission for Plant-Bee Relationships (ICPBR) ‘Bee Protection Group’ was established in 1980. This group brings together experts from the crop protection industry, government (national regulatory authorities), academia (university research departments), and more recently from beekeeping organizations, to discuss the development of testing methodology as well as the overall assessment of risk to bees from the use of plant protection products.


EPPO Standards

The revised standards are now published in the EPPO Bulletin 40(3) of December 2010.

PP 1/170(4) Side-effects on honeybees (English only )
PP 3/10(3)   Environmental risk assessment scheme for plant protection products. Chapter 10: Honeybees (English only )