Wednesday, February 28, 2018

European study confirms neonic risk to bees

The Belfast Tribune reports that a new assessment of three neonicotinoid pesticides, whose use is restricted in the European Union . . . has confirmed the danger” to bees.

Neonicitinoids have been widely used in Canada as a seed treatment to prevent crop damage by insects. Ontario has implemented controls that require farmers to prove their crops face an assault by insects.

The assessment by the European Food Safety Authority looked at their impact on wild solitary bees and bumblebees as well as honeybees.

Jose Tarazona, head of EFSA’s pesticides unit, said “there is variability in the conclusions, due to factors such as the bee species, the intended use of the pesticide and the route of exposure.

“Some low risks have been identified, but overall the risk to the three types of bees we have assessed is confirmed.”

It’s not clear what his low-risk assessment means for North American farmers.