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Thu, 26th Jun 2014

'Neonics' linked to honeybee decline

Honeybee carrying pollen (c) Muhammad Mahdi Karim@wikipedia

Neonicotinoids are a group of chemical used as a pesticide on crops. In fact, they're so effective at killing pests, they're currently the most widely used insecticide in the world.

These chemicals target the nervous system by mimicking the actions of nicotine, a natural plant toxin. They block signals between nerve cells, causing paralysis and death.

However, a study commissioned by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has concluded that these neonicotinoids also are deadly to many beneficial creatures – from earthworms to sparrows - and have even been linked to the decline of honeybees.

Graihagh Jackson visited the RSPB’s headquarters in Bedfordshire to speak to Dr David Gibbons, one of the authors of the report. 

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Neonicotinoids are without doubt powerful pesticides and the link to Bee problems has come up time and time again.

Whether or not there is any evidence of them being responsible for the decline in both honey bees and a number of solitary bee species, it seems outrageously irresponsible to me to continue the use of a pesticide which may threaten such a vital ally in food production.

This isn't simply a case of chucking out the baby with the bath water, this is chucking out the bath too and forgetting to let go. Don_1, Mon, 14th Jul 2014

This story in Nature was also covered in an interview here (11 minutes) - this class of insecticide appears to be having direct and indirect impacts on birds:
http://www.sciencefriday.com/topics/nature/segment/07/11/2014/concerns-rise-over-pesticide-use-birds-and-bees.html evan_au, Mon, 14th Jul 2014

If you have an interest in bee's (which we all should), watch the BBC's 'HIVE ALIVE' series on the BBC 2 or the BBC iPlayer:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04b7b70 Don_1, Wed, 16th Jul 2014

Goes in my mind, particularly Australia , it certainly can kill them like flies!!!

In some rural parts of broad acre cropping in Australia, Canola is often a crop for which bee-hives are "Hired" , usually "Nucs"(nucleus) hives to help the flowers get pollinated.

Canola field
http://wongantourism.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/canola-gathercole7.jpg

Here's an underground hive i found in an embankment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXa7Yut3jsQ&list=UUZmliKOS0qZAo68F4zn79_A
nicephotog, Sat, 2nd Aug 2014

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