Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Bees and neonicotinoids > the latest research is ambiguous

We need to give bees all the help they can get:
Futures Forum: How to encourage wildlife in your garden

The trouble is that we are not necessarily being very helpful - as the current debate over neonicotinoids shows:
Futures Forum: Neonicotinoids @ Countryfile

There is more research out, which makes it difficult for the layperson - and legislator - to know exactly what to do:
Commission readies further restrictions to neonicotinoids – EURACTIV.com

Tale of two neonicotinoid bumble bee studies—And how science can be massaged


Two studies on the health of bumblebees and links to neonicotinoid health were published simultaneously last month in sister publications of the prestigious science journal empire, Nature.
Both examined closely similar scientific questions, with somewhat different experimental methodologies. But the study that found that neonics caused no serious issues was ignored by the media while the one suggesting a bee-apocalypse was widely played up as “definitive.’
Let’s unpack what these studies actually showed, and reflect on why the studies have been reported on so differently...

Tale of two neonicotinoid bumble bee studies—And how science can be massaged | Genetic Literacy Project

The 38 Degrees campaign group have got a petition going:

Michael Gove: protect our bees

This is incredible. Already over 170,000 of us have signed the petition calling on Michael Gove to protect our bees. [1] We'll it be handing it soon - and the more of us that add our name, the louder our call will be.

[1] 38 Degrees: Michael Gove: protect our bees

We've got a huge opportunity to help save our bees for good. Big corporations want to spread bee-killing pesticides across UK fields. These pesticides are temporarily banned in the UK on some crops, but if we want to stand up for our buzzing friends we need to get these chemicals banned on all crops. [1]

There's a vote coming up to extend the current ban, protecting bees from even more pesticides. [2] And Environment Minister Michael Gove decides whether the UK will vote to ban these pesticides.

That's where we come in. Lobbyists for big chemical companies will be whispering in Michael Gove's ear, telling him to vote against the bees. [3] But there are hundreds of thousands of us, so a huge petition could persuade him to put our bees before business profits.

Bees pollinate three quarters of the world’s crops - apples, strawberries, onions, carrots, and many, many more. We wouldn’t last long without them. But the pesticides favoured by big business, called neonicotinoids, are lethal - they scramble their memories, and damage their navigation leaving them lost and confused. [4]

Our bees have been under siege since 2013 - every year chemical companies have tried to lift the ban, threatening bees existence. But every year 38 Degrees members have fought to keep these threats at bay. [5]

We’ve now got the chance to make sure the ban covers more of Britain's fields, and keeps our bees safe for generations to come. Michael Gove has been saying warm words about protecting our bees - so now let's get him to turn those words into action. [6]

[1] New Scientist: Strongest evidence yet that neonicotinoids are killing bees

[2] There are two votes coming up at the European Commission: one at the end of the year, and one in January. The vote this year will decide whether or not the ban on Neonicotinoids, which are currently only banned on one type of crop, should be extended to cover all crops. The vote in January will decide whether or not to permanently ban these pesticides. Any decision taken at these meetings will be transferred into UK law after Brexit.
The Guardian: Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides:

[3] Energy Desk Greenpeace: Industry lobbyists accused of scaremongering over ban on bee-harming pesticides

[4] The Guardian: Europe should expand bee-harming pesticide ban, says campaigners

[5] 38 Degrees: Bees

[6] BusinessGreen: Gove: UK will 'take back control' of environmental policy to deliver a 'green Brexit'

Michael Gove: protect our bees

See also:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and 'What will you eat when the food runs out?'
Futures Forum: Brexit: and the EU Withdrawal Bill: Write to your MP >>> 'Your last chance to have your say on wildlife protection'
Futures Forum: Brexit: and paying farmers to make the countryside look beautiful
Futures Forum: Brexit: and pesticides
Futures Forum: Bees and neonicotinoids >>> "Chemical companies pitch bug-killing options"

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