- Aquatic Ecotoxicology
- OECD 202: Daphnia sp., Acute Immobilisation Test
- OECD 211: Daphnia magna Reproduction Test
- OECD 235: Chironomus sp., Acute Immobilisation Test
- OECD 218/219: Sediment-Water Chironomid Toxicity Test Using Spiked Sediment/Spiked Water
- OECD 233: Sediment-Water Chironomid Life-Cycle Toxicity Test Using Spiked Water or Spiked Sediment
- OECD 225: Sediment-water Lumbriculus Toxicity Test Using Spiked Sediment
- OECD 242: Potamopyrgus antipodarum Reproduction Test
- OECD 243: Lymnaea stagnalis Reproduction Test
- OECD 203: Fish, Acute Toxicity Test
- OECD 215: Fish Juvenile Growth Study
- OECD 212: Fish, Short-term Toxicity Test on Embryo and Sac-fry Stages
- OECD 231: The Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay
- OECD 236: Fish Embryo Acute Toxicity Test
- OECD 210: Fish, Early-life Stage Toxicity Test
- OECD 229 Fish Short Term Reproduction Assay and OECD 230 21-day Fish Assay
- OECD 240 Medaka Extended One Generation Reproduction Test (MEOGRT)
- OECD 248: Xenopus Eleutheroembryo Thyroid Assay
- OPPTS 850.1500: Fish Life Cycle Toxicity Test
- OÈCD 234 Fish sexual development test
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- OPPTS 830.6302, OPPTS 830.6303,and OPPTS 830.6304: Physical State, Colour and Odor at 20 °C and at 101.3 kPa
- EU A.1: Melting temperature/range
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- EU A.3: Relative density (liquids and solids)
- EU A.4: Vapour pressure
- EU A.5: Surface tension
- EU A.9: Flashpoint
- EU A.10: Flammability (solids)
- EU A.12: Flammability (contact with water)
- EU A.13: Pyrophoric properties of solids and liquids
- EU A.16: Relative self-ignition temperature for solids
- EU A.17: Oxidising properties
- OECD 114: Viscosity of Liquids
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- Terrestrial Ecotoxicology
- Non-target arthropod testing with the parasitic wasp (Aphidius rhopalosiphi)
- Non-target arthropod testing with the lacewing (Chrysoperla carnea)
- Non-target arthropod testing with the ladybird beetle (Coccinella septempunctata)
- Non-target arthropod testing with the predatory bug (Orius laevigatus)
- Non-target arthropod testing with the predatory mite (Typhlodromus pyri)
- Non-target arthropod testing with the rove beetle (Aleochara bilineata)
- Non-target arthropod testing with the carabid beetle (Poecilus cupreus)
- Non-target arthropod testing with the wolf spider (Pardosa spec.)
- OECD 213/214: Honey bees, Acute Oral and Acute Contact Toxicity Test
- OECD 245: Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera L.), Chronic Oral Toxicity Test (10-Day Feeding)
- OECD 237: Honey Bee Larval Toxicity Test, Single Exposure
- OECD 239: Honey Bee Larval Toxicity Test
- EPPO 170: Honey Bee Field Study – do plant protection products effect honey bee colonies?
- Oomen et al. 1992: Honey Bee Brood Feeding Study
- OECD 75: Honey Bee Brood Test under Semi-field Conditions in Tunnels
- OECD 246/247 Acute Oral and Contact Toxicity to the Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris L.
- Solitary Bee Acute Contact Toxicity Study in the Laboratory (Osmia sp.) Solitary Bee Acute Oral Toxicity Study in the Laboratory (Osmia sp.) (protocols for ringtests with solitary bees recommended by the non-Apis working group)
- SANTE/11956/2016 rev.9 Residue trials for MRL setting in honey
- OECD 208: Terrestrial Plant Test - Seedling Emergence and Seedling Growth Test
- OECD 227: Terrestrial Plant Test - Vegetative Vigour Test
- OCSPP 850.4100: Seedling Emergence and Seedling Growth
- OCSPP 850.4150: Vegetative Vigor
- EPPO PP 1/207(2): Efficacy evaluation of plant protection products, Effects on succeeding crops
- Ecological Modelling
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- Testing of Potential Endocrine Disruptors
- Aquatic Ecotoxicology
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Our new methodology for evaluating residues in honey offers a reliable approach to determining whether honey is fit for human consumption
5th November 2020
By Dr. Christian Berg, Study Director at ibacon -
The majority of our research at ibacon involves testing plant protection products and ingredients to assess their impact on the environment. However, one of the latest methodologies does assess their impact on people, evaluating residues in honey and bee products used for human consumption.
Guidance Document SANTE/11956/2016 entered into force in January this year and provides technical guidance for determining the magnitude of pesticide residues in honey and setting Maximum Residue Levels (MRL). European data requirements (EU Regulation 283/2013) demand determination of residue levels in pollen and bee products. Residues taken up by honeybees from crops at blossom could be evaluated via adapted study designs taking into account the intended use pattern of the plant protection product.
I am excited to report that, having worked on the implementation of the guideline and pilot studies testing a new methodology, this has now been adopted and the implementation of full-scale GLP ibacon MRL studies for upholding consumer protection has started.
The approach involves covering flowering plant crops with tunnels and then introducing bees. Four different field sites are chosen, with a distance of at least 10 kilometres between them. Each site comprises one tunnel treated with the plant protection product and one, untreated, control tunnel. As standard crop Phacelia tanacetifolia is used although other crop species, such as sunflower or rapeseed are frequently requested by clients.
In a standard test, bee hives are introduced just after the application of the plant protection product and the bees start to collect nectar. The collected nectar is stored and processed inside the hive, finally being stored as ripe honey. It is sampled and analysed in our laboratory to determine the level of the active substance (if relevant metabolites) contained in the of the plant protection product.
The measured residue levels of the active substance(s) contained in the plant protection product are used to set the maximum residue level which will be applied to run the consumer risk assessments. Although the human consumption of pollen, wax, royal jelly and propolis is considered as low, sometimes additional residue data for these commodities are generated.
Our methodology allows for studies to be adapted to meet specific needs and requirements. To be successful, they require a number of key conditions: Firstly, the field sites must be suitable and offer good conditions for plant growth and flowering. Sub-optimal conditions will not provide enough nectar for collection. The fields also need adequate irrigation - particularly during dry conditions.
Secondly, it is important that the bee colonies are selected by an experienced beekeeper ensuring that empty, drawn-out honeycombs are used and that nectar originating from the applied plants is stored. In addition, experience is needed in monitoring that the nectar from the field is used in the production of the honey. Both the nectar and honey storage on each frame of the hive are assessed twice a week. As soon as sufficient amounts of honey derived from the collected nectar are available a chemical analysis is conducted on the samples in order to quantify the amount of residues in the honey.
This ibacon semi field study offers a realistic approach in determining maximum residue levels. While the technical guidelines do depict other approaches - such as syrup trials which tries to simulate a transfer of plant protection products from a nectar source into honey – I am personally doubtful as to whether this method mimics a realistic scenario. It is unclear as to whether the dosage of active substances and metabolites fed to bees reflect the real-life situation and hence whether the calculation of maximum residue levels is valid. I would recommend that pre-tests are conducted and further data collected before implementing syrup trials. At the moment, I would suggest to conduct a semi-field tunnel study instead of a syrup feeding study in order to obtain reliable data for setting maximum residue levels.
Want to know more about our new methodology? Read more by clicking on the download button.