Bees & Neonicotinoids: An Organic Farmer’s Perspective

argylesock says… Here’s an organic farmer whose crop yields are excellent. I’m gestating a blog post about the organic movement but not yet ready to put forward an opinion.

The Fanning Mill

The Debate

The past several months have seen a lot of coverage of the alleged links between neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics) and widespread, puzzling, and distressing bee deaths. This week saw the European Commission ban the use of neonics for two years, starting in January of 2014. Many groups are calling for similar action on this side of the pond, while others, both here and in Europe, are more hesitant to declare that we’ve found the smoking gun. The stakes are very high on both sides, of course: everyone has heard about the importance of bees for pollinating food crops, and farmers and farm groups like to point out that seed treatments are essential for crop production and that the alternatives to neonics may prove to be more harmful in the long run.

Forbes published a comprehensive article on the debate and its background on Tuesday which is definitely worth reading…

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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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