Tags: neonic | pesticides | bees

Neonic Pesticides Swat Bees Trying to Pollinate English Crops

Image: Neonic Pesticides Swat Bees Trying to Pollinate English Crops

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By    |   Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016 10:56 AM

Neonic pesticides used on crops around the world are being blamed in part for the decline of wild bee populations in England, says a new study that examined 62 species of wild bees for nearly two decades.

Neonics, or neonicotinoids, have been used in Europe and the United States for years, noted Mother Jones magazine. The BBC News said the study looked at the long-term impact of neonics from 1994 to 2011.

Researchers at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology examined data on wild bees, excluding honey and bumblebees, said the BBC, and compared the location of the bees and changing populations with the growing pattern of oilseed rape crops across England that were mostly protected by neonics.

The study found that bee populations shrank 10 percent because of neonicotinoids across the 34 species that forage on oilseed rape. Five of the species showed declines of 20 percent or more, with the worst affected species declining by 30 percent.

The study was posted Tuesday in the science journal Nature Communications.

"This study provides the first evidence for community level national scale impacts on the persistence of wild bee populations resulting from exposure to neonicotinoid treated oilseed rape crops," said the study. "While correlational, the identification of reduced persistence rates suggest that sublethal impacts reported by previous studies do 'scale up' to cause population extinctions over long time scales."

"Wild bee species that forage on oilseed rape were three times as negatively affected by exposure to neonicotinoids than non-foragers. This supports the hypothesis that the application of this pesticide to oilseed rape is a principle mechanism of exposure for wild bee communities."

Ben Woodcock, an ecological entomologist at the Natural Environmental Research Council Center for Ecology and Hydrology, told Reuters that the findings exposed the extent of the pesticide's impact.

"Prior to this, people had an idea that something might be happening, but no one had an idea of the scale," said Woodcock. "(Our results show that) it's long-term, it's large scale, and it's many more species than we knew about before."

The European Union has limited use of the chemicals, and other research two years ago suggested that the pesticides were a danger to bees in their effort to pollinate crops, noted Reuters.

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Neonic pesticides used on crops around the world are being blamed in part for the decline of wild bee populations in England, says a new study that examined 62 species of wild bees for nearly two decades.
neonic, pesticides, bees
375
2016-56-17
Wednesday, 17 Aug 2016 10:56 AM
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