Pesticide residues in honeybee-collected pollen : does the EU regulation protect honeybees from pesticides?

Show full item record



Kaila , L , Ketola , J , Toivonen , M , Loukola , O , Hakala , K , Raiskio , S , Hurme , T & Jalli , M 2022 , ' Pesticide residues in honeybee-collected pollen : does the EU regulation protect honeybees from pesticides? ' , Environmental Science and Pollution Research , vol. 29 , pp. 18225-18244 .

Title: Pesticide residues in honeybee-collected pollen : does the EU regulation protect honeybees from pesticides?
Author: Kaila, Lotta; Ketola, Jarmo; Toivonen, Marjaana; Loukola, Olli; Hakala, Kati; Raiskio, Sakari; Hurme, Timo; Jalli, Marja
Contributor organization: Department of Agricultural Sciences
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
Plant Production Sciences
Date: 2022-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 20
Belongs to series: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
ISSN: 0944-1344
Abstract: Researchers globally identify pesticides as one of the main reasons for pollinator decline. In the European Union (EU), extensive legislation is implemented to protect pollinators from harmful pesticide exposure. The aim of our study was to discover whether the pesticide residue levels in honeybee matrices, such as nectar and pollen, exceeded the chronic or acute toxicity levels when beehives were located next to fields treated with specific insecticides. The insecticides were used according to the EU legislation and its national implementation. The experiments were conducted in turnip rape, oilseed rape, and caraway fields in southern Finland during the years 2019 and 2020. The pesticides used in the experiments contained the active substances lambda-cyhalothrin (2019), esfenvalerate (2020), and tau-fluvalinate (2020). However, the honeybee-collected pollen and nectar were analyzed for residues of more than 100 active substances. The results showed that the pesticide residue levels clearly remained under the oral acute toxicity for honeybees, although we found high levels of thiacloprid residues in the pollen collected in 2019. The pesticide residues in nectar were below LOQ values, which was most likely due to the rainy weather conditions together with the chosen sampling method. No statistically significant differences were observed between the insecticide-treated and untreated fields. In light of our research, the EU legislation protected honeybees from oral acute toxicity during the years 2019 and 2020. However, potential sublethal effects of thiacloprid and other pesticide compounds found in the collected pollen cannot be ruled out. In the future, constant monitoring of pesticide exposure of honeybees and wild pollinators should be established to ensure that pesticide legislation, and its implementation across the EU successfully protects pollinators and their services in agricultural environments.
Subject: Sustainable agriculture
Field-realistic residues
EU legislation
Risk assessment
4111 Agronomy
1172 Environmental sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

Files in this item

Total number of downloads: Loading...

Files Size Format View
Kaila2022_Artic ... eResiduesInHoneybee_co.pdf 1.047Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record