What is in this article?:
- Solution to impasse over neonicotinoids and honey bees?
- Action plan details
- An increase in pesticide regulation efforts would increase field margins, monitoring programs, and measures to reduce bee exposure.
Action plan details
In further detail, the key features of the action plan are:
Significantly scale up the provision of pollen rich flowering field margins across the EU to be sown alongside bee attractive crops treated with neonicotinoids to provide habitat and nutrition.
• This would build on Syngenta's 10-year Operation Pollinator program which has demonstrated that these margins dramatically increase pollinator populations, including honeybees.
• This would address one of the main factors identified by the European Commission in the decline in bee health.
Support for the establishment of a comprehensive field monitoring program for bee health including the detection of crop protection chemicals.
• A comprehensive program, following the guidelines for surveillance projects by the EU Reference Laboratory for honey bee health, shall be established.
• The current monitoring work of the EU reference laboratories on bee health, supported by national bee institutes, should be reinforced and extended.
• Within this new scope the detection of chemicals from crop protection, particularly neonicotinoids, and veterinary products should be included.
Mandatory implementation of strict measures to mitigate the exposure risk to bees.
• High quality treatment of seed to take place only in certified production sites which participate in a Quality Assurance Scheme.
• Strict rules governing the use of treated seed, such as the mandatory use of deflectors in planting machinery, application only by professional and certified users, and improved information exchange between farmers and beekeepers.
• Bayer Crop Science recently developed "SweepAir", a new air-cleaning technology for maize sowing equipment offering a significant improvement in comparison to standard technology; first field tests with the prototype indicate a dust reduction well above 95%.
Invest in and roll out new technologies which further reduce the dust emissions from the planting of seed treated with neonicotinoid crop protection chemicals.
• Bayer CropScience and Syngenta are both working on new solutions to further improve the coating of seeds treated with crop protection chemicals and the way they are planted to ensure that dust emissions are minimized.
• Some of these solutions are ready to be deployed and we commit to continuing our investment in the research and development of these risk mitigation measures.
Further invest in the research and development of new solutions for the main factors impacting bee health.
• The European Commission identifies disease and viruses such as Varroa destructor, American foulbrood, European foulbrood, Nosema spp., and honey bee viruses as the main cause of the decline in bee health.
• Bayer CropScience and Syngenta have both invested in the research and development of new solutions to these parasites, diseases and viruses and commit to stepping up our activities in this area.
• Bayer CropScience and Syngenta commit to supporting area-wide long-term pilot studies which demonstrate their effectiveness.
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