Research in focus: Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees. By Woodcock et al (2017), Science 365 (6345), pp. 1393-1395. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1190
On the 29th of June, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) published the largest field study to date examining the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on bees. This much-anticipated study was funded by pesticide manufacturers Syngenta and Bayer, and carried out independently by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) after intense scrutiny of the methodology by researchers at the University of Cambridge.
As with much of the scientific literature on neonicotinoids, the results of this study have been debated fiercely with some controversial reporting from both sides. Bayer have since published a partial re-analysis doubting CEH’s assessments, while Syngenta claim the results to reflect positively on neonicotinoid usage and the mitigating impact of good beekeeping husbandry planting wildflowers around treated fields.
Here, Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s Head of Science, Dr Richard Comont, carefully explores the findings in detail and gives his take on what the results show...more...