Insect Asides

“The European Food Safety Authority (Efsa) assessment [of neonicotinoid pesticides] includes bumblebees and solitary bees for the first time.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/28/total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides-likely-after-major-new-eu-analysis

Solitary bees were previously reluctant to take part.

“A spokesman for Syngenta, a neonicotinoid manufacturer, said: “Efsa sadly continues to rely on a [bee risk guidance] document that is overly conservative, extremely impractical and would lead to a ban of most if not all insecticides, including organic products.””

If organic produce is now classified as an insecticide, then chemical pesticides are no more effective than hurling rotten fruit at insects.

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Wasted

“The world’s most widely used insecticide may cause migrating songbirds to lose their sense of direction and suffer drastic weight loss, according to new research.” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/29/common-pesticide-can-make-migrating-birds-lose-their-way-research-shows

Scientists are close to linking this effect to recent behaviour in the UK government cabinet.

Peusticides

“Arguments over whether widespread harm to bees had been proven or not missed the point of the EU regulations: ‘The principle of the regulation is that safe use must be demonstrated, not the other way around.’ With Efsa finding high risks to bees, … ‘There is no other choice for the commission than to act.'” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/22/tories-aim-block-full-eu-ban-bee-harming-pesticides

‘Precautionary’ means something wildly different from ‘conservative’.

Time to try some bee-friendly products?

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Partricide

“Red-legged partridges fed seeds treated with one neonic died within days. Other researchers found house sparrows became ‘uncoordinated and unable to fly’ and Japanese quail suffered DNA damage after being exposed to the pesticides.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/pesticides-ban-evidence-death-birds-bees-grows-stronger-agriculture-partial-report-a7522391.html

Could you fly a little faster, said the sparrow to the quail,
There’s a partridge right behind me who’s a deadweight on my tail.
We’re flying round in circles, answered quail unto the spug,
I’m feeling rather queasy and my head’s all shot to fug.

Sicker and Thicker

“The UK government-funded study … is the first to link the controversial insecticides to the decline of many bee species in real-world conditions. … The study cannot show a causal relationship between neonicotinoid use and the decline of wild bees, says … a spokesperson for Bayer Crop Science.” (http://www.nature.com/news/controversial-insecticides-linked-to-wild-bee-declines-1.20446)

Expected response from UK government? “Although this study adds to the growing pool of evidence that neonicotinoids adversely affect bees, until we can speak to bees directly, to hear why they’re getting sicker and thicker, we can’t punish the agrochemical industry unduly.”

Beebody

“There is a huge body of evidence, which cannot be ignored, showing that certain neonicotinoids are harmful to bees and other wild pollinators.” (http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/article/scottish-wildlife-trust-amp-buglife-scotland-call-for-permanent-ban-on-damaging-insecticides/)

Who can ignore a huge bee-shaped body?

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Zeronicotinoids

“These toxic chemicals [neonicotinoids] not only harm bees, they also persist in the agricultural landscape and contaminate soils, potentially harming invertebrates such as earthworms. They are picked up by wildflowers, get into the watercourse and are linked to a decline in birds and butterflies in farmed systems.
We now know that bumblebees can’t pollinate crops effectively when exposed to these pesticides, so it makes moral, ecological and economic sense to ban them.” (http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/article/call-to-ban-bee-harming-pesticides-in-scotland/)

What else are we going to do with 15 beezillion unemployed bumblebees?

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