EU-wide ban on bee-damaging neonicotinoids


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The EU-wide ban on harmful bee neonicotinoids see environmentalists as an important step to counteract the current insect shrinkage. However, this is only partial success: the EU committee has banned only three neonicotinoids that are harmful to bees and even their use in the open air.

These bee harmful neonicotinoids were banned

Neonicotinoids are used in industrial agriculture as highly effective insecticides. However, they kill not only pests, but also numerous other insects. Above all: the bees. In order to protect them, a committee has now adopted an EU-wide ban on at least three neonicotinoids. Specifically, this means that the particularly harmful bee neonicotinoids with the active ingredients thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid have completely disappeared from the market in three months and must no longer be used outdoors in Europe. The ban applies to both seed treatments and sprays. Their harmfulness, especially for honey and wild bees, has been confirmed by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).

Use of insecticides in the field

Neonicotinoids are used in agriculture for pest control

Why are neonicotinoids so harmful to bees?

Neonicotinoids are already able to paralyze or even kill insects in small amounts. The active ingredients prevent the transmission of stimuli in the brain, lead to the loss of sense of direction and paralyze the insects downright. Neonicotinoids have fatal consequences in the case of bees already at a dose of about four billionths of grams per animal. In addition, bees prefer to approach plants treated with neonicotinoids and should not avoid them. The contact even reduces fertility in honey bees. This has already been proven by scientists in Switzerland in 2016.

Which is still allowed

The joy that has spread in the face of the ban among environmentalists, but is somewhat clouded. In greenhouses, the use - even of the above-mentioned particularly harmful bee neonicotinoids - continue allowed. And for use in the open air? There are still plenty of neonicotinoids in circulation, which, however, have been declared scientifically unobjectionable for bees. However, environmental organizations such as the German Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) would like a complete ban on neonicotinoids - agricultural and agricultural associations fear losses in quality and yield.

Video Board: Neonicotinoids banned in EU: How they harm bees.

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