Today we launch a call for tenders to develop the model designed by the MUST-B working group for assessing the impact of pesticides on honeybee colony health. The four-year contract will start in early 2017.
The proposed model will be capable of predicting the size, structure, mortality and egg-laying rate of a single colony in various European environmental scenarios comprising different landscapes (land cover, land use, climate and weather), prevalence of bee disease (V. destructor, DWV, ABPV and Nosema spp.) and beekeeping practices.
The model development will be assigned to a single contractor and include several steps:
- development of a formal model based on the conceptual model designed by MUST-B for the risk assessment of pesticides in honeybee colonies under different environmental scenarios;
- production of geographic information system (GIS) maps for spatial explicit modelling;
- integration of the model into a computer programme with a graphical user interface;
- set-up of the model following the EFSA scientific opinion on good modelling practices for its use in environmental risk assessments. For this last step, EFSA will outsource a field data collection in countries/areas located in the three EU regulatory zones. These data will be used by the modellers to assess the performance of their model under different scenarios.
The deadline for submission of tenders is 27 October 2016. Please spread the word!
Agnès Rortais is a bee specialist at EFSA.