ecotoxicology blog posts

13 November, 2018

How much do you really know about the world of pollination?

By Matt Allan

Pollinator protection is a hot topic at the moment, and deservedly so, given the need to feed 7.6 billion people. The challenge we all face is how to control the pests that damage food crops without killing the insects that help produce the food. By insects, I mean of course predominantly, but not exclusively bees.

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09 November, 2017

Bee studies - what can we measure and what should we measure?

By Matt Allan

Ecotoxicology is a relatively new study, less than 50 years old. Broadly it is defined as the study of harmful effects of chemicals on ecosystems, including individuals, populations and the environment. In discussing the effects on bees, it is important to also embrace the wider aspect of the effect on the colony of these social insects. 

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07 September, 2017

Powerful innovations in the advancement of ecotoxicology

By Matt Allan

Bees are ecologically important, as the world’s major pollinators. Out of the 100 crop species that provide 90% of food worldwide, 71 are estimated to be pollinated by bees [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Global honey bee colony disorders and other threats to insect pollination, 2011].

Bees, specifically honeybees, have been used in experimental models for ecotoxicology studies. Other types of bees – bumblebees, solitary bees and stingless bees – are also important ecologically. New technologies now enable field and semi-field ecotoxicology studies of all types of bees and the assessment of new endpoints.

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