Specifications for field data collection contributing to honey bee model corroboration and verification
This report is linked to a first report describing the conceptual model of a honey bee colony model to assess pesticide exposure with other stressors and effects on colony dynamics. In this report, a study site design to collect data is proposed that ultimately will contribute to the corroboration and verification of the bee colony model. Four Member States representing three EU regulatory zones (Denmark, Poland, Portugal and France) were selected to ensure corroboration and verification under different climatic and environmental conditions across Europe. Data collection will be conducted at 10 sites (four in Denmark and two in Poland, Portugal and France). To reduce colony variability due to genetic differences, sister queens will be reared, and to reduce colony variability due to competition, no more than 5 colonies will be established at each site. To reduce variability due to climatic differences within each zone, sites will not be distant more than 10 km apart. Each site, also known as the resource providing unit, will be defined by a circular area of 3 km radius. In Denmark, Poland and Portugal, 2 sites will be selected based on landscape fitness attributes and relatively low presence of pesticides. In Denmark, two additional sites (one each of high and low landscape fitness) will be selected to monitor effects from exposure to flupyradifurone sprayed on 3 fields of flowering oilseed rape whereas in France, 2 sites with different levels of pesticide exposure as a result of normal farming practices (intensive versus organic) will be selected. The sampling protocol to be conducted at each site, including the colony management, sampling duration, time, frequency, variables and methods/tools are further detailed. Finally, a data model to collect data in a harmonized and consistent way, and to enable the further use of data by the modelers, was designed.