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Results of a large-scale European field experiment to quantify the impacts of neonicotinoids on honeybees and wild bees

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been widely used to enhance crop production in the UK and around the world since the 1990s. The concern for pollinator welfare led to a provisional ban on neonicotinoid use across Europe in 2013. A move which is subject to review by the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) in this autumn.

A new paper in Science reveals the findings of the first pan-European, large-scale multi country field trial – conducted in the UK, Hungary and Germany – which investigated the impacts of exposing honeybees and two wild bee species to winter oilseed rape crops treated  with two neonicotinoid seed treatments – clothianidin and thiamethoxam.

Roundup comments accompanied this briefing.



Professor Richard Pywell: Science Area Lead, Sustainable Land Management, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon.

Professor Richard Shore: Science Area Lead, Pollution & Environmental Risk, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon.

Dr Ben Woodcock: Ecological entomologist at the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon.


After the main press conference two scientists from Bayer and Syngenta – the companies who funded this study – gave their response to the research.

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