Plant-protection products must undergo an extensive authorisation process according to the Swiss Plant-Protection Product Ordinance (SR 916.161), in which the protection of bees plays an important role. Hazards of plant protection products (PPP) on bees are reviewed and evaluated by the Swiss bee research center (CBR) on behalf of the Federal Department for Agriculture (FOAG). Based on the scientific decision-making scheme and risk assessment any limitations and/or requirements (safety phrases Spe 8) regarding the use of plant-protection products can be applied.
Data Requirements for the Registration of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) in Switzerland and Co-Development of a New Method for the Assessment of Sublethal Effects of PPPs on Honey Bees
A reliable risk assessment of PPPs depends on the constant improvement, adaptation and revision of risk assessment methodologies and guidelines, as well as a thorough evaluation of their effects on non-target organisms.
Here, we explain how the current risk assessment of PPPs in relation to bees and how PPP authorisation is carried out in Switzerland. We also outline our participation in the development of a new method for assessing sublethal effects of PPPs on honey bees.
Since the publication of the EFSA bee guidance document in 2013 and the National Action Plan for Bee Health promoted by the Swiss Federal Council in 2014. , additional test methods with honeybees and wild bees (bumblebees and solitary bees) are required. Hence, new methods must be developed and validated, in order to fulfill the new data requirements for a more comprehensive evaluation scheme for the protection of bees against PPP.
Therefore, the CBR is involved in international projects (ring-test) for developing new test methods to capture the effective risks to honeybees and other pollinators posed by PPPs in a more accurate way.