The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a scientific opinion proposing a new approach to the environmental risk assessment of honey bees. Requested by the European Parliament's Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), it sets out an integrated, holistic framework for assessing the combined effects of multiple stressors on honey bees.
The EFSA propose a systems-based approach that is composed of two core components, a monitoring system and a modelling system. Key developments in the current scientific opinion, including systematic data collection from sentinel beehives and an agent-based simulation, have the potential to substantially contribute to future development of environmental risk assessments of multiple stressors at larger spatial and temporal scales. For the monitoring, sentinel hives would be placed across representative climatic zones and landscapes in the EU and connected to a platform for data storage and analysis.
The EFSA proposes this approach as a supportive tool for beekeeping, farming, research, and risk assessment and management.
Source: EFSA, 20 May 2021