Many French beekeepers have seen hives mysteriously die off, which scientists believe is due in part to neonicotinoid pesticides A ban on five neonicotinoid pesticides enters into force in France on Saturday, placing the country at the forefront of a campaign against chemicals blamed for decimating critical populations of crop-pollinating bees. The move has been hailed by beekeepers and environmental activists, but lamented by cereal and sugar beet farmers who claim there are no effective alternatives for protecting their valuable crops against insects. With its ban, France has gone further than the European Union, which voted to outlaw the use of three neonicotinoids—clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam—in crop fields. Heavily agriculture-reliant France banned these three neonicotinoids plus thiacloprid and acetamiprid, not only outdoors but in greenhouses too. These are the only five neonicotinoid pesticides hitherto authorised for use in Europe. Introduced in the mid-1990s, lab-synthesised neonicotinoids are based on the chemical structure of nicotine, and attack the central nervous system of insects. They were meant to be a less harmful substitute to older pesticides, and are now the most widely-used to treat flowering crops, including fruit trees, beets, wheat, canola, and vineyards. Bees at risk In recent years, bees started […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.