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Environ Entomol. 2018 Dec 3. doi: 10.1093/ee/nvy137. [Epub ahead of print]

Pesticide Exposure Assessment Paradigm for Stingless Bees.

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IBAMA - Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources SCEN, Distrito Federal, Brazil.
Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), Araras, SP, Brazil.
São Paulo State University Rio Claro (UNESP) SP, Brazil.
Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency - EMBRAPA Oriental Amazon, Belém, PA, Brazil.
Catholic Pontifical University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
Federal University of Ceará (UFC), Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.
Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency - EMBRAPA Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Brasília, DF, Brazil.
Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Salvador, BA, Brazil.
Federal University of Pará (UFPA), Belém, PA, Brazil.
University of Brasília (UnB), Brasília, DF, Brazil.
Brazilian Agricultural Research Agency - EMBRAPA Semi-Arid, Petrolina, PE, Brazil.
Federal University of Viçosa (UFV), Viçosa, MG, Brazil.


Although the importance of bees as the pollinators responsible for maintaining gene flow for many native and cultivated plants in ecosystems around the world is recognized, much of their biodiversity and behavior remains to be discovered. Stingless bees are considered key pollinators for several plant species in tropical and subtropical ecosystems and they also provide pollination services for economically important agricultural crops. Many countries are using the honey bee (Apis mellifera Linnaeus, 1758, Hymenoptera: Apidae) as a surrogate to evaluate the risk of pesticides to all species of bees. However, there is uncertainty regarding the extent to which honey bees can serve as surrogates for non-Apis bee species in the risk assessment for pesticides. This paper provides a short overview of the life history traits relevant in risk assessment of stingless bees. It summarizes what is known about stingless bee exposure to pesticides compared to that of honey bees and presents criteria for potential candidate species from Brazil for use in pesticide risk assessment in tropical environments. This paper also identifies gaps in knowledge of bee biology and pesticide exposure routes not covered by the current honey bee exposure assessment paradigm. Based on these gaps, research is needed on life history traits, estimates of nectar and pollen consumption, mud, resin, and water collection and available protocols to adequately assess toxic effects of pesticides to stingless bees. This review is part of a series of papers on the risk of exposure of non-Apis bees to pesticides.


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