Keep Britain buzzing

The Soil Association (SA) invites us to keep Britain buzzing with bees. SA’s campaign aims to ban neonicotinoid pesticides because those can kill bees.

The Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) disagrees. DEFRA reviewed the evidence about these pesticides and found that ‘the studies did not show that currently permitted uses of neonicotinoids have serious implications for the health of bee populations.’ This puts us in a contrasting position to those in continental Europe and in the States.

Until today, I’d never heard of neonicotinoid pesticides. That’s a litte bit surprising since I work in a Faculty where pollinators are a focus of research, but perhaps I just need to ask people about this particular group of pesticides.

You know me: not jumping to conclusions. But I’m watching with interest and I’ll tell you if I learn more about neonicotinoids.

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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2 Responses to Keep Britain buzzing

  1. Carol Hague says:

    I’d not heard of them either, but it makes sense to me that anything that gets sprayed on plants is likely to accumulate in critters that feed on those pants, whether they eat the leaves or the nectar. And that accumulation *could* be benign or neutral, but if it’s designed to kill some species of insect, it probably won’t act as a vitamin supplement for other species either.

    More data required, as you quite rightly say though.

    Bees are apparently declining quite badly just now, if I understand correctly, so I hope the data will be a) forthcoming and b) appropriately acted upon.

  2. Nicotine based pesticides have been around for a fairly long time, and it is thought that its role in the plants it occurs in is as a deterrent to herbivores. I thought they had been phased out though, and did not know about the neonicotinoids.

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