March 2012

The following is a short extract from the House of Commons Report entitled BEES AND THEIR PROBLEMS last updated 18 November 2011. Neonicotinoids are a relatively recent type of insecticides used on crops.

“Information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoid insecticides, suggest the potential for long term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects.”

Alarm bells should be ringing by now. Neonicotinoids are a group of relatively new compounds that mimic the insect-killing properties of nicotine. They are neurotoxins, attacking the central nervous system of the invertebrates. They are systemic, which means that they get taken into every part of the plant, including the pollen and nectar.

In turn, that means that bees and other pollinating insects can absorb them and carry them back to their nests or hives.

In 2008, total neonicotinoid use in Britain involved more than 2.5 million acres – some quarter of the arable cropland in this country – and they are big earners for the chemical companies that produce them.

If you have time, this is well worth reading:

Is the future of bees in the hands of the pesticide lobby?

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