Statement on the suitability of the BEEHAVE model for its potential use in a regulatory context and for the risk assessment of multiple stressors in honeybees at the landscape level


Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2015;13(6):4125 [91 pp.].
Panel members at the time of adoption
Alf Aagaard, Theo Brock, Ettore Capri, Sabine Duquesne, Metka Filipic, Antonio F. Hernandez-Jerez, Karen I. Hirsch-Ernst, Susanne Hougaard Bennekou, Michael Klein, Thomas Kuhl, Ryszard Laskowski, Matthias Liess, Alberto Mantovani, Colin Ockleford, Bernadette Ossendorp, Daniel Pickford (until 30 June 2014), Robert Smith, Paulo Sousa, Ingvar Sundh, Aaldrik Tiktak and Ton Van Der Linden.

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Beehave Model Evaluation, Jos Boesten, Fani Hatjina, Jeff Pettis, Melissa Reed, Fabio Sgolastra, Robert Smith and Christopher John Topping, for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion, and EFSA staff, Franz Streissl, Maria Arena, Domenica Auteri, Agnès Rortais and Csaba Szentes, for the support provided to this scientific opinion.

Statement of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Question Number
27 May 2015
Published in the EFSA Journal
25 June 2015
Last Updated
3 November 2015. This version replaces the previous one/s.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

The Panel has interpreted the Terms of Reference by carrying out a stepwise evaluation of the BEEHAVE simulation model with a view to assessing its suitability for use in a regulatory context and for risk assessment of multiple stressors at the landscape level. The EFSA opinion on good modelling practice was used to evaluate the model and its documentation systematically. The overall conclusion is that BEEHAVE performs well in modelling honeybee colony dynamics, and the supporting documentation is generally good but does not fully meet the criteria of the good modelling opinion. BEEHAVE is not yet usable in a regulatory context primarily because it needs a pesticide module. BEEHAVE has a Varroa/virus module, although this seems to underestimate the impact of Varroa/virus on colony survival, and additional stressors (chemical and biological) would need to be added to allow investigation of the effects of interactions of pesticides with multiple stressors. BEEHAVE currently uses a very simple representation of a landscape and this should be extended. There is only one environmental scenario in the present version of BEEHAVE (European central zone—weather scenarios for Germany and the UK) and extension to other European zones would be needed. The supporting data and default parameter values should be further evaluated and justified. The modelling environment used by BEEHAVE (NetLogo) has an excellent user interface but provides limited opportunities for extending the model. The Panel recommends that BEEHAVE should be adopted as the basis for modelling the impact on honeybee colonies of pesticides and other stressors, but that further development should use a standard, object-oriented language rather than NetLogo. 

BEEHAVE, modelling, good modelling practice, pesticides, risk assessment, multiple stressors
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