, Volume 12, Issue 1–4, pp 317–330

Behavioural Effects of Pesticides in Bees–Their Potential for Use in Risk Assessment

  • Helen M. Thompson


This paper reviews a wide variety of behavioural effects that have been reported in bees following exposure to pesticides, primarily insecticides. These range from effects on odour discrimination in the individual to the loss of foraging bees due to disruption of their homing behaviour. Some of these effects have the potential to have a significant impact on the development and survival of colonies. However, there is currently little guidance available on the types of behavioural data which should be collected during laboratory, semi-field or field regulatory studies or how they should be included and interpreted in risk assessment. Further work is required to allow risk assessment to include significant behavioural effects and their longer term consequences on colony survival and development. Such an approach will require a larger base set of data to predict the longer-term consequences on colonies of short-term effects on individuals, e.g. through population modelling.

pesticides sublethal honey bees risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen M. Thompson
    • 1
  1. 1.National Bee UnitCentral Science LaboratorySand Hutton, YorkUK

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