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Study links neonicotinoids to declining wild bee population

By Hannah Binns

 

A new study has found more evidence to suggest insecticides are devastating bee populations.

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bees, honey bee on oilseed rape, pollinators.jpg
bees, honey bee on oilseed rape, pollinators.jpg

A new study published yesterday (August 16 2016) in Nature Communications, commissioned from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), has found more evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides are devastating wild-bee populations.

 

The paper surveyed 62 bee species from the UK between 1994 and 2011.

 

Population declines over this 18-year period have been linked to the escalating use of neonicotinoid insecticides.

 

Emma Hockridge, head of policy for farming and land use at the Soil Association said the results were ’horrifying’.

 

Research

 

She said: “The results of this extensive new research on the impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on wild pollinators are horrifying.

 

"It adds to the strong and quickly growing body of overwhelming scientific evidence which points to the damaging impact of neonicotinoid insecticides on pollinating insects, including bumblebees and honey bees."

 

Ms Hockridge said there are farming methods which can be used to cut down on the use of harmful insecticides.

 

Methods

 

“There are a range of methods which farmers can use which do not require the use of neonicotinoid insecticides," explained Ms Hockridge.

 

"Organic farmers use a system of production which has strong benefits for pollinator populations – for example a meta-analysis from Oxford University showed on average, non-organic farms have 48% more species of pollinators than non-organic farms.”

 


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