Recent years have seen lots of warnings about the die-off of bees around the world. What was killing these great pollinators? What was in store for us if we lost the humble bumble bee?
The Euros think they know and so they're about to ban a family of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. The most popular insecticide in the world, imidacloprid, is a neonicotinoid.
The world’s most widely used insecticides pose a serious danger to both honeybees and wild bees, according to a major new assessment from the European Union’s scientific risk assessors.
The conclusion, based on analysis of more than 1,500 studies, makes it highly likely that the neonicotinoid pesticides will be banned from all fields across the EU when nations vote on the issue next month.
The report from the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa), published on Wednesday, found that the risk to bees varied depending on the crop and exposure route, but that “for all the outdoor uses, there was at least one aspect of the assessment indicating a high risk.” Neonicotinoids, which are nerve agents, have been shown to cause a wide range of harm to bees, such as damaging memory and reducing queen numbers.