Nicotine-based pesticides harm bees despite corporations’ claims, major study finds amid calls for total ban
Researchers found a 24 per cent reduction in bee populations at test sites in Hungary was linked to use of neonicotinoids, but also some ‘positive’ effects of its use in Germany.
A major £2.7m study into a controversial type of nicotine-based pesticide has found it can cause harm to bees, prompting environmentalists and some scientists to call for an outright ban.
Funded by two major agrochemical companies, the researchers discovered neonicotinoids were associated with negative effects on bees at sites in the UK and Hungary. However, they also found it had some “positive” effects on bees in Germany.
Nevertheless, writing in the leading journal Science, they concluded that the chemicals reduced the ability of bees to establish new populations the following year with a 24 per cent reduction in the Hungarian populations.
Neonics, as they are known, are already the subject of a partial ban by the European Union, which is considering preventing their use completely.