We had another busy meeting of our MUST-B working group last week. By the summer we hope to have the specifications in place for our risk assessment model, which will contain individual modules on colony, diseases, pesticides, beekeeping practices, resources, and environmental drivers. The debates are intense and we don’t always have the answers.
Take exposure to pesticides, for example. Although there is evidence to implicate certain pesticides in the decline of colonies, it is not always clear how the pesticides reach the bees – what the routes of exposure are.
Getting as much information on how bees are exposed to pesticides is essential to the development of our model – and we realised last week that we need more information on how honeybees are exposed to contaminated nectar in the hive.
More precisely, we need to know if bees – foragers and in-hive bees – are more likely to consume fresh nectar or stored honey in their daily activities.
Can you help? If anyone out there has any information or references on this topic we would really like to hear from you. Please use the comment section below to help us fill this important information gap.
Agnès Rortais is a bee specialist at EFSA.