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.