European experts warn: the use of neonicotinoids is dangerous for wild and honey bees.
A new study confirms the danger to bees of three neonicotinoid pesticides: clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam. There were calls for a complete ban on their use in agriculture.
In 2013, there was already an analysis of these substances. Then the European Commission established control over their use due to “sublethal” effects for bees: impaired ability to feed and form colonies.
A new assessment was conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The effects on wild and honey bees, as well as bumblebees, were examined. The results of the study confirmed: neonicotinoids are dangerous to insects.
UK Environment Secretary Michael Gove has already stated that a complete ban on these pesticides will be supported by the UK and will continue after Brexit.
Activists demand revision of pesticide resolution rules
Bees can be exposed to the aforementioned pesticides by collecting pollen and nectar from crops that contain chemical residues. Even proximity to cultivated crops is disastrous: chemicals drift from field to field through dust and soil.
The Friends of the Earth campaign calls for an urgent ban on the use of these chemicals in the fields.
We played Russian roulette for too long with the future of our bees
activist Sandra Bell complains.
They also require a review of the pesticide resolution process and a reduction in their overall use.
Scientists for extensive limitation
Dr. Philip Donkersley of the University of Lancaster says all three pesticides affect bee breeding, colony viability, and learning ability with bumblebees.
Professor Christopher Connolly of Dundee University, in turn, notes another important fact. This study showed that the risks to bees are great even if they are not directly in contact with pesticide-treated plants. The negative effect is also observed through indirect influence, that is, if the fields in the neighborhood were processed. In addition, bees are also affected by crops that have grown after field cultivation.
He emphasizes that the greatest risk to bees is associated with constant exposure due to the conservation of pesticides and their transfer to other flowering plants. It is important that such constant pollution with a low chemical level can also increase pest resistance.
The scientist suggests severely restricting the use of neonicotinoids. Firstly, it will reduce environmental stress. Secondly, such a solution will save them as an important way to control pests in difficult situations.
Recall that we previously wrote about another study in which it was said that fungicides also negatively affect the population of bumblebees and bees.