Honey Bee Toxicology

Stillmeadow, Inc. specializes in conducting honey bee, Apis mellifera, toxicology testing according to EPA OCSPP and OECD Ecological Effects Test Guidelines. Honey bee non target oral and contact testing is conducted year round excluding the coldest winter months. For testing, newly emerged adult worker bees are collected the day of dosing from Stillmeadow, Inc. hives. Oral testing is done with microbials, biopesticides (OCSPP 885.4380), and conventional chemicals (OECD 213). Contact testing (OCSPP 850.3020) and (OECD 214) is conducted with pesticides and other conventional chemicals primarily.

Honey Bee Testing, Tier I, Microbial Pest Control Agent (MPCA) Test (885.4380)

The honey bees are administered the MPCA test substance ad libitum as part of their diet for 30 days or until control mortality exceeds 20%. Additional groups dosed include; an inactive group dosed with the MPCA that is inactived by autoclaving, a group is dosed with the MPCA sterile filtrate vacuum filtered through a 0.4 micron filter, and an untreated control group for comparison.

  • Limit test: A limit test consist of five replicates of 20 bees per cup per group administered the MPCA test substance active, inactive and sterile filtrate at a maximum hazard dose as part of their diet. The limit test is the most common test performed.
  • Definitive test: A definitive test consists of five ten-fold concentrations of the active MPCA test substance to look for a dose response so that the LC50 can be calculated and the NOEL determined.

Honey Bees, Acute Oral Toxicity Test (OECD 213)

The honey bees are administered the test substance ad libitum as part of their diet for four hours and mortality is assessed at 4, 24, and 48 hours.

  • Limit test: A limit test consist of five replicates of 20 bees per cup per group administered the test substance at 100 µg a.i./bee. A positive and negative control group are dosed also for comparison.
  • Definitive test: A definitive test consists of five ten-fold concentrations of the test substance to look for a dose response so that the LC50 can be calculated and the NOEL determined.

Honey Bees, Acute Contact Toxicity Test (OCSPP 850.3020) (OECD 214)

The honey bees are administered the test substance topically to the dorsal side of their thorax using a microapplicator. They are then placed in a container with diet for four hours and mortality is assessed at 4, 24, and 48 hours.

  • Limit test: A limit test consist of five replicates of 20 bees per cup per group are administered the test substance at 25 µg a.i./bee for OCSPP and 100 µg a.i./bee for OECD. A positive and negative control group are dosed also for comparison.
  • Definitive test: A definitive test consists of five ten-fold concentrations of the test substance to look for a dose response so that the LC50 can be calculated and the NOEL determined.
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