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Government must ban bee-harming pesticides as new research shows risk to bumblebee extinction

The government must act to permanently ban bee-harming pesticides says Friends of the Earth.

Bumblebee on phacelia

The government must act to permanently ban bee-harming pesticides says Friends of the Earth as new research from Royal Holloway University released today (14 August) suggests that neonicotinoid pesticides are a risk to bumblebee extinction.

The research showed that queen bees exposed to neonicotinoid pesticides were 26% less likely to be able to start a new colony.

Friends of the Earth is urging the UK government to back moves in the EU to permanently extend current neonicotinoid restrictions to all crops – and commit to keeping any ban post-Brexit.

Responding to the research, Sandra Bell, Friends of the Earth nature campaigner, said:

“This new study comes hot on the heels of the largest field trials of neonicotinoids showing harm to honey bees and wild bees. It also follows new evidence of how these pesticides leak into the environment and turn up in wildflowers posing further risk to bees.

“It is clear that use of these chemicals on any crop poses a risk to bees and other wildlife. The Government has repeatedly said it will follow the science – how much more science does it need before it acts to protect our precious bees?

“Michael Gove must put his support behind a comprehensive ban on neonicotinoid pesticides across the EU and continue the ban in the UK post-Brexit”

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