Dr Christopher Connolly from Dundee University has produced the latest in a line of studies by British universities which prove that neonicotinoids are disastrous for bees. Research at Stirling University found they caused problems for queen bees. Then Newcastle University found they damaged bees' ability to learn – and, this has been fatal.
By 2050, we are going to have to feed 9.2 billion people – so in the next 50 years or so we are going to have to produce as much food as humanity has produced in our entire history.
UNFORTUNATELY THIS WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE IF WE DECIMATE OUR NATURAL POLLINATORS WITH PESTICIDES
85% of our queen bees have been lost already; beekeepers are reporting alarming colony declines, The UK is importing hundreds of thousands of bees every year to pollinate our fruit and crops. This is the very loud ring of an alarm bell telling us all to wake up!
The biggest problem we have is the Goliath pesticide industry, which is using strong-arm tactics to push its arguments in favour of the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. But the evidence is clear: the natural abundance of, bees, butterflies, moths and birds is in a terrible spiral of decline.
Alternatives to pesticides exist. It is possible to farm without neonicotinoids. Environmentally-friendly farming involving simple techniques such as crop rotation do not require the use of chemical pesticides.
Farmers need to urgently change their methods, and this will take time. In the meantime, small gardens will be the lifeline to bees this year, so please make sure you don’t use any chemicals in yours.