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  • Writer's picturePeter Klauza

Neonicotinoid pesticide use

I am not trying to shock you, but this is what half a colony of dead bee's looks like. If this were down to pesticide use I would have to send my bee's off to a lab and pay for an autopsy and analysis for the reason they died. However deaths of bee's outside the hive and pesticide usage has a more subtle effect on the bee's. They would not make it back the hive, so counting the numbers of bee losses due to poisoning becomes trickier.

Bees and other pollinators play an essential role in ensuring biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem.

They are essential in the reproduction, and therefore survival, of many plants which, in turn, serve as food and shelter for a variety of animals and are critical to our food security.

Without bees, we would be unable to produce much of the food we take for granted

Buzzing pollinators are in decline and have been hit hard by the loss and fragmentation of the habitats they depend on, such as wildflower meadows and hedgerows.

Thiamethoxam belongs to a class of pesticide known as neonicotinoids. Commonly called neonics, these chemicals are widely used throughout the world. But in 2018, the most toxic ones, including thiamethoxam, were banned from all outdoor use in the EU and UK, because of the overwhelming evidence of the harm they cause to bees and other pollinators.

Bees, poisoned with these chemicals, often exhibit twitching or paralysis of flight muscles and there is a failure in the homing behaviour of foragers, resulting in less available food for the colony.

Widespread environmental contamination is also common, with neonics contaminating the soil,

In February the UK Environment Secretary, George Eustice, granted ‘emergency’ use of the banned bee-killing pesticide, thiamethoxam, for sugar beet in England.

This went directly against the advice of government experts, who say there is an unacceptable risk to honey bees and other pollinators from using this chemical, which is used to control virus-carrying aphids. Aphids are small bugs which feed by sucking sap from plants.

The UK produces half of it sugar in the UK and powerful lobbyists have been able to influence the government.

The overall effect of this single decision is detrimental and bad news for all bee keepers.

Bee’s are vital to our future and if they die, so will mankind, as they are vital to pollinate our food production supplies.

Is there anything you can do to stop it? Don't buy or use any weedkillers from your DIY store and contact your MP, or write to the Environmental minister and see what response you get. Please contact me with the result and I will publicise your letters on this website

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