Analyze demonstrates EU pesticide ban failing to secure suburban bees — …


Bees living in suburban habitats are still remaining exposed to significant concentrations of pesticides even with the EU ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on flowering crops, new exploration from University of Sussex researchers reveals.

Though the introduction of new EU limitations on the use of neonicotinoid substances five several years back has lessened exposure of bees residing in farmland, the review uncovered that total additional than 50 percent of all pollen and nectar samples collected from bee nests in Sussex, Hertfordshire and Scotland concerning 2013 and 2015 had been contaminated.

The study is the initial of its type to emphasize the hazard to bees in city locations posed by backyard use of pesticides.

The scientists at the University of Sussex are urging gardeners to ditch their bug sprays instantly in favour of encouraging normal predators this sort of as ladybirds or lacewings, and the use of physical solutions these kinds of as hand-removal of pests, and netting or sticky traps.

Dr Beth Nicholls, Postdoctoral Investigation Fellow in Evolution, Behaviour and Atmosphere at the University of Sussex and the study’s direct author, said: “Our conclusions advise that the EU’s recent decision to extend the neonicotinoid moratorium to include things like all subject crops is probably to have a positive outcome on bees, relieving some of the strain on our by now battling pollinator populations. Nevertheless, offered that bees in suburban gardens appear to continue to be at possibility write-up-moratorium, further more work is needed to realize the resources of neonicotinoid exposure in these parts and to locate strategies to decrease it. Our analyze indicates that restricting the public sale and use of neonicotinoid-based bug sprays, which are presently unaffected by the moratorium, is desired if we are to guard bee populations living in and all around our cities and cities.”

In 2013 the European Fee instated a EU-huge moratorium on the use of 3 types of neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid) on bee-interesting flowering crops this sort of as oilseed rape. The ban will be expanded to contain all discipline crops from 2019.

The research, with colleagues at Stirling College and Rothamsted Study, uncovered that neonicotinoid exposure for rural bumblebees declined soon after the ban’s implementation in 2015 but the threat to bumblebees in suburban gardens remained largely the exact.

As very well as bug sprays, contaminated decorative plants marketed in garden centres participate in a essential job in spreading neonicotinoids via suburban regions. A past study by the University of Sussex exposed that 70% of bee-friendly plants offered at a vary of garden centres experienced traces of neonicotinoids.

For nectar samples collected from rural bumblebee colonies, concentrations of the pesticide thiacloprid, an lively component in quite a few bug sprays sold in backyard garden centres and not bundled in the EU restriction, considerably enhanced in between 2013 and 2015, replacing the banned substances.

Scientists were being also involved to come across bee food stuff was normally contaminated with imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid which is very not often made use of from crop pests any much more. Its continued existence raises concerns about the persistence of chemical compounds in agro-environments even after their software has stopped. The scientists believe that that the ongoing contamination could also be thanks to pet flea solutions, which continue to frequently have this chemical.

The review discovered many bee populations are however matter to pesticide concentrations that prior studies have revealed could lead to slower colony development and the creation of less new queens, as effectively as harmful impacts on foraging and navigation, immunity and worker mortality.

Professor Dave Goulson, professor of biology at the University of Sussex, reported: “Who knows what Brexit will necessarily mean for the long run of this state but a single matter it desperately demands to include is the continuation of the EU’s ban on neonicotinoids. Gardeners can do their bit for there is no have to have for pesticides in gardens. I mature lots of fruits, vegetables and bouquets in my backyard without chemical substances — there is just no require.”

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Elements provided by University of Sussex. Take note: Articles may possibly be edited for model and size.


Research displays EU pesticide ban failing to defend suburban bees — …