Jan Baas, Benoit Goussen, Mark Miles, Thomas G. Preuss, Ivo Roessink
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, DOI 10.1002/etc.5423
Publication year: 2022


Understanding the survival of honey bees after pesticide exposure is key for environmental risk assessment. Currently, effects on adult honey bees are assessed by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development standardized guidelines, such as the acute and chronic oral exposure and acute contact exposure tests. The three different tests are interpreted individually, without consideration that the same compound is investigated in the same species, which should allow for an integrative assessment. In the present study we developed, calibrated, and validated a toxicokinetic–toxicodynamic model with 17 existing data sets on acute and chronic effects for honey bees. The model is based on the generalized unified threshold model for survival (GUTS), which is able to integrate the different exposure regimes, taking into account the physiology of the honey bee: the BeeGUTS model. The model is able to accurately describe the effects over time for all three exposure routes combined within one consistent framework. The model can also be used as a validity check for toxicity values used in honey bee risk assessment and to conduct effect assessments for real-life exposure scenarios. This new integrative approach, moving from single-point estimates of toxicity and exposure to a holistic link between exposure and effect, will allow for a higher confidence of honey bee toxicity assessment in the future. Environ Toxicol Chem 2022;00:1–9. © 2022 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.