6.5. Conclusion

Studies are needed to assess pesticide impacts on reproductive activity in the colony, that is to say, the physical and physiological integrity of the queen and drone bees. Methods using a strict control of the toxin exposure of queens and drones must be preferred to field conditions where the exposure of the foragers is always questionable because of the difficulty to locate the foraging sites. Effects on daily egg-laying rates, egg hatch rates, number and viability of the spermatozoa in the queen spermathaeca (see Cobey et al., 2013), and in the seminal vesicles of the mature drone should not be overlooked and may be captured in overall risk assessments of brood and population development in higher tier testing. Nevertheless, specific guidelines may be needed to take into account these criteria in the evaluation of toxicity of any AI or commercial formulations.