Neonic pesticide link to long-term wild bee decline

Last Updated: August 17, 2016
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The scientists from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology have published their study, which considers the issue of neonic pesticides. The research examined the impacts on populations of wild bees across the UK in 1994-2011.

The biologists from the UK have studied 62 species wild bees, which declined its populations across the country. The scientists revealed the link between the use of neonicotinoid insecticides and process of declining the insects’ population. In their study biologists used data from 1994 to 2011.

Neonic pesticide has a negative impact on the size of wild bees populations (62 species, actually) — over 18 years neonicotinoid insecticides have been poisoning the oilseed rape, the main food for bees. So, scientists concluded, these two process–chemicalisation of agricultural crops and reducing the wild bees population–are linked. At least, a half of the total decline in wild bees families attributed to the use of the neonic pesticide.

According to figures in the study, the amount of oilseed rape has increased significantly from 500,000 hectares in 1994 to over 700,000 in 2011. In other words, such a great volume of plants, which was treated with neonic pesticides, became too toxic to wild bees and caused the long-term decreasing of insects’ population. Now, in the UK about 85% of the oilseed rape is protected with neonic pesticide, say the publication.

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