John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Extrapolation of acute toxicity across bee species

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In applying cross‐species extrapolation safety factors from honeybees to other bee species, some basic principles of toxicity have not been included, e.g. the importance of body mass in determining a toxic dose. This study re‐analysed published toxicity data taking into account the reported mass of the individuals in the identified species. The analysis demonstrated a shift to the left in the distribution of sensitivity of honeybee relative to 20 other bee species when body size is taken into account with the 95th percentile for contact and oral toxicity reducing from 10.7 (based on µg/individual bee) to 5.0 (based on µg/g bodyweight). Such an approach results in the real drivers of species differences in sensitivity, such as variability in ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion) and target/receptor binding, being more realistically reflected in the revised safety factor. Body mass can also be used to underpin the other parameter of first‐tier risk assessment, i.e. exposure. However, the key exposure factor which cannot be predicted from bodyweight is the effects of ecology and behavior of the different species on exposure to a treated crop. This is where further data are required to understand the biology of species associated with agricultural crops and the potential consequences of effects on individuals at the levels of the colony or bee populations. This information will allow the development of appropriate higher‐tier refinement of risk assessments and testing strategies rather than extensive additional toxicity testing at Tier 1. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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