The results were so dramatic and so contradictory of real life experience of some beekeepers in Canada, Europe and Australia who use neonicotinoids and where many bee colonies are thriving that the United Kingdom’s Dept. for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) decided to reevaluate existing research. The agency pointed to the problem with much of the laboratory-based data — it measures doses and application methods not used by farmers.

“The risk to bee populations from neonics, as they are currently used, is low,” DEFRA concluded in March. “Laboratory-based studies demonstrating sub-lethal effects on bees from neonics did not replicate realistic conditions, but extreme scenarios … While this assessment cannot exclude rare effects of neonicotinoids on bees in the field, it suggests that effects on bees do not occur under normal circumstances. Consequently, it supports the view that the risk to bee populations from neonicotinoids, as they are currently used, is low.”

As the British Bee Keeper Association recently warned, rushing to ban neonicotinoids, when the evidence remains contradictory, could well do more damage than good, as other pesticides, some known to be more harmful to bees, would of necessity be reintroduced.

See here for complete Forbes article.

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