Thursday, 2 May 2013

Not the Bee All and End All?

The EU ban on crop pesticides that can harm bees and other pollinators has been reported in some quarters as a victory for environmentalism (in spite of resistance from the UK government). A study from Utrecht University by Jeroen van der Sluijs (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/01/study-links-insecticide-invertebrate-die-off?INTCMP=SRCH) suggests, however, that the ban will have only a modest impact on imidacloprid levels in the environment as it would still be used to counter ectoparasite (fleas and ticks) infestations in cattle and companion animals (dogs and cats). The insecticide, used in this fashion,  finishes up at high concentrations in ditches, streams and lakes where it can reduce the numbers of invertebrate species (notably snails and dragonflies) to only 30% of those found in pristine surface waters. The author of the study suggests an outright ban.

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