Pesticides have long-term consequences for bees and birds
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Latest research is posing ever more serious questions about whether neonicotinoids are affecting birds and bees more widely than previously thought, CBC News reports. The research is looking into more subtle, long-term effects from the insecticides, rather than instant direct kills. Nigel Raine, an expert in pollinator conservation at the University of Guelph, found that the neonicotinoids affect bumblebees’ ability to find and collect food. When it comes to birds, the question is whether neonics are such an effective insecticide that they are killing off the aquatic bugs that birds need to eat. Studies published this summer found larger annual declines in insect-eating birds in areas with higher surface-water concentrations of imidacloprid. An analysis of 800 studies released this summer, called the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, concluded that chemicals are having widespread effects on ecosystems around the world beyond their intended function of killing crop pests. More information is available from CBC News.
In the UK, the Soil Association’s Keep Britain Buzzing campaign highlights the threats bees face and encourages everyone to take action to protect bees. The association wants all neonicotinoid pesticides, widely used in agriculture and domestic gardens, to be banned. Bee-friendly organic farming should be promoted. The association aims at showing that everyone can make a difference by simply changing their shopping habits and wants to help bee populations recover by ensuring there are plenty of domestic and agricultural bee-friendly habitats around the UK. More information is available here: http://www.soilassociation.org/keepbritainbuzzing