• Open Access

Scientific Opinion on the science behind the development of a risk assessment of Plant Protection Products on bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees)


  • EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR)

  • Panel members: Jos Boesten, Claudia Bolognesi, Theo Brock, Ettore Capri, Anthony Hardy, Andrew Hart, Karen Hirsch-Ernst, Susanne Hougaard Bennekou, Robert Luttik, Michael Klein, Kyriaki Machera, Bernadette Ossendorp, Annette Petersen, Yolanda Pico, Andreas Schäffer, Paulo Sousa, Walter Steurbaut, Anita Stromberg, Maria Tasheva, Ton van der Linden, Christiane Vleminckx
  • Correspondence: pesticides.ppr@efsa.europa.eu
  • Acknowledgement: The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Bee Risk Assessment (Robert Luttik, Gérard Arnold, Jos Boesten, James Cresswell, Andrew Hart, Jens Pistorius, Fabio Sgolastra, Noa Simon Delso, Walter Steurbaut, Helen Thompson) for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion, the hearing expert (Anne Alix) and EFSA staff (Franz Streissl, Domenica Auteri, Jean-Lou Dorne, Agnès Rortais, Klaus Swarowsky, Csaba Szentes) for the support provided to this scientific opinion.
  • Adoption date: 18 April 2012
  • Published date: 23 May 2012
  • Question number: EFSA-Q-2011-00417
  • On request from: European Commission


The PPR Panel was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the science behind the development of a risk assessment of plant protection products on bees (Apis mellifera, Bombus spp. and solitary bees). Specific protection goals options were suggested based on the ecosystem services approach. The different routes of exposure were analysed in detail for different categories of bees. The existing test guidelines were evaluated and suggestions for improvement and further research needs were listed. A simple prioritisation tool to assess cumulative effects of single pesticides using mortality data is suggested. Effects from repeated and simultanous exposure and synergism are discussed. Proposals for separate risk assessment schemes, one for honey bees and one for bumble bees and solitary bees, were developed.