Pollen angels: The E.U.’s ban on bee-killing pesticides begins. Will it help?

argylesock says… Here in Europe our ban on neonics was bitterly fought. It was even opposed by our UK Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson. Now it’s in force but as Heather Smith says in this article, it may be too weak and too brief to achieve much for the bees.


On April 29, the day that the European Union voted to ban three of the most widely used pesticides in the world, I was at an insecticide industry conference in England having having tea and cookies. The ban on clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam — collectively called neonicotinoids —  would begin on Dec. 1, and was specifically aimed at seeing if this class of pesticide was indeed making honeybees too stupid to find their way back to the hive, as some studies suggested. Delicious snacks aside, the mood in the conference room was apocalyptic.

The panic persisted despite the fact that the E.U. ban came with many exceptions: The ban was only for two years, for instance. It did not ban all neonicotinoids; even the ones that were banned could still be applied to crops like winter wheat, because honeybees don’t fly in the winter and could care less about wheat…

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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 Pollen angels: The E.U.’s ban on bee-killing pesticides begins. Will it help?

  1. sharonstjoan says:

    Thanks for standing up for the bees!

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