Since 2013, a European Union (EU) moratorium has restricted the application of three neonicotinoids to crops that attract bees because of the harmful effects they are deemed to have on these insects. Yet researchers from the CNRS, INRA, and the Institut de l'Abeille (ITSAP) have just demonstrated that residues of these insecticides -- and especially of imidacloprid -- can still be detected in rape nectar from 48% of the plots of studied fields, their concentrations varying greatly over the years.
Neonicotinoid insecticides, also known as neonics, are doing more than killing bees and other insects in record numbers, according to a report issued last month by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an international environmental advocacy group. Neonics, the council says, are contaminating New York State’s soil and water and “hollowing out ecosystems from the bottom up.”
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the British Isles were home to the European Dark Honeybee, which we now usually call the Black Bee. Its Latin name is Apis mellifera mellifera, and it was the dominant honeybee here since the last Ice Age, adapting to our changeable and unpredictable climate and thriving in all kinds of weather alongside our native bumblebees and solitary bees.
In de jaren negentig kregen universiteiten het credo van de marktwerking opgelegd. De overheid bepaalde dat wetenschappelijk onderzoek niet langer alleen uit publieke middelen moest worden gefinancierd, maar voortaan ook deels met extern geld. Dat betekende dat universiteiten de boer op moesten. Voor Wageningse onderzoekers betekende dat het begin van een innige samenwerking met chemiegiganten.
Recent studies have shown a dramatic decline in the bee population – with a nearly 90% decrease in recent years – placing the insect on the endangered species list.
The use of uncontrolled pesticides, the continuation of deforestation and lack of cipher flowers (bee food) are the main reasons for the recent population nosedive.
In der Landwirtschaft sind Insektengifte weit verbreitet. Manche Substanzen wie die Neonicotinoide töten allerdings nicht nur Schädlinge, sondern schädigen auch Bienen. Das ZDF hat bei Recherchen nach eigenen Angaben ermittelt, dass manche Giftstoffe längst hätten verboten werden müssen. Am Mittwoch, 30. Oktober 2019, berichtete „ZDFzoom“ ab 22.45 Uhr über „BAYER, Bauern und die Bienen - Ein Konzern unter Druck“.
Neil Mossop knows bees. His family's been in the honey business in Tauranga for more than 70 years. But that experience couldn't have prepared him for the shock of finding nearly 200 of his hives decimated - six million bees wiped out. "There was just a mat of dead bees," he says. Initially, Mossop thought his bees had been deliberately poisoned. But once that was ruled out, he had an inkling as to what was killing them.
Nonostante la moratoria europea del 2013 sull’uso all’aperto, e la successiva conferma in senso restrittivo e permanente (a eccezione delle serre) del 2018, i neonicotinoidi clotianidina, imidacloprid e thiamethoxam sono ancora molto presenti sui terreni del vecchio continente e, in particolare, su quelli francesi, dove questi insetticidi sono stati vietati del tutto nel 2018 per tutelare le api e gli altri insetti impollinatori.
Neonicotinoid insecticides have been signaled as an important driver of widespread declines in bee diversity and abundance. Neonicotinoids were registered in the 1990s and by 2010 accounted for one third of the global insecticide market. Following a moratorium in 2013, their use on open-field crops was completely banned in the EU in 2018. Pesticide regulation should be based on solid and updated scientific evidence, whereby products showing unacceptable effects on the environment are not approved.