New study showing pesticides impair bees' ability to gather food highlights need for urgent action
Commenting on new research from the University of Sussex and University of Stirling, which says that controversial pesticides ingested by bumble bees can seriously impact the insects’ ability to collect food, even at very low levels of contamination, Friends of the Earth’s Nature Campaigner Sandra Bell, said:
“This new research provides further evidence that pesticides are harming bees and underlines why the temporary ban on the insecticide imidacloprid was so urgently needed.
“Bees and other pollinators play a crucial role in our food system. We cannot afford to continue bombarding them with a cocktail of toxic chemicals.
“The Government’s imminent National Pollinator Strategy must tackle all the threats our bees face - including new ways to cut pesticide use.”
Notes to editors:
1. Pesticides impair bees’ ability to gather food, Sussex researchers find.
2. Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause campaign has succeeded in persuading the Government to adopt a comprehensive National Bee Action Plan. In June 2013, ‘Bees Minister’ Lord De Mauley, announced the Government’s intention to draw up a National Pollinator Strategy.
3. The Bee Cause now aims to ensure the Strategy is ambitious enough to reverse bee decline in the UK.
4. UK bee populations are declining at an alarming rate with a big drop in managed honey-bee colonies and solitary bees, as well as two species of bumblebee becoming extinct.
5. Without bees, food prices will rise – pollination of UK crops by bees and other insects is worth over £500 million a year. It would cost the UK farming industry £1.8 billion to pollinate their crops by hand.