Author Archives: BfM_admin

New EU report on the risks from using neonicotinoids

A report from the European Food Safety Authority published on 28th Feb 2018 gathers together evidence from over 1500 studies and could be a game-changer for bees.

This landmark science review concludes that neonicotinoid pesticides pose a high risk to both honeybees and wild bees.

For the new assessments, which this time cover wild bees – bumblebees and solitary bees – as well as honeybees, EFSA’s Pesticides Unit carried out an extensive data collection exercise, including a systematic literature review, to gather all the scientific evidence published since the previous evaluations.

Bees and insecticides – web links

A set of web links about the effects of insecticides on bees :-

Two new studies add to the mountain of evidence that neonicotinoids are harmful to pollinators (New Scientist)

Europe poised for total ban on bee-harming pesticides (The Guardian)

Strongest evidence yet that neonicotinoids are killing bees (New Scientist)

Would we starve without bees? (BBC)

Attack of the bee killers: Documents show Bayer and Syngenta teamed up with farmers to get around bee-friendly regulation (Politico)

Controversial pesticides can decimate honey bees, large study finds (Science)

Farms could slash pesticide use without losses (The Guardian)

Pesticide Lobby Spends Millions To Defend Chemicals Tied To Bee Deaths (Huffington Post)

Most Pollinator Friendly Villages Award

Bee Friendly Monmouthshire awarded two houses in St. Arvans near Chepstow on Tuesday 9th Jan 2018 with Certificates of Recognition for Bee Friendly Gardens. BfM participated in the Gwent Best Kept Village 2017, and during the judging for Most Polli-Friendly Village, found some very wonderful pollinator friendly gardens amongst them.

We wanted to highlight them, and congratulate them. One of the winners commented, “I’ve never received an award for doing nothing before!” and that is what we at BfM want to encourage. We want to encourage more pollinator-friendly people to leave those pesky dandelions, to allow that mischievous ivy to flower, and to leave that haircut for the grass a little longer. 2018 should be the year of the pollinator.

Many congratulations to the winners, and we hope to see more polli-friendly gardens this year.

Alarming link between fungicides and bee decline

A study with data from 284 sites across 40 US States has revealed that common fungicides were the strongest factor in the decline of four bumblebee species.

Bees feed on fermented pollen – i.e. bees need yeasts to assist with digestion of pollen – so fungicide would be expected to harm bees. This research links the presence of the fungicide chlorothalonil with the presence of a bee gut pathogen – Nosema bombi.

Chlorothalonil is a widely used fungicide in UK – especially in cereal crops.

Homebase will stop using neonicotinoids

Garden centre and retail giant Homebase has announced it will stop using bee-harming pesticides called neonicotinoids.

Homebase has agreed to stop using these chemicals on garden plants. And it will clear its shelves of garden products containing neonicotinoids by the end of 2018.

Report from Friends of the Earth UK:

B & Q will stop using neonicotinoid pesticides

Some good news in the latest Autumn edition of Butterfly.  B & Q have agreed to stop using neonicotinoid pesticides on their flowering plant range from Feb 2018. They have taken note of research showing that neonicotinoids are harming bees and birds and may be contributing to the decline of butterflies as well.

Here’s the link to the relevant Butterfly Conservation webpage.

The scale and speed of environmental collapse is beyond imagination.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 20th October 2017

Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdown, air pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive only a fraction of the attention.

This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on the contrary, it presents an existential threat. It is simply that I have come to realise that two other issues have such huge and immediate impacts that they push even this great predicament into third place.

One is industrial fishing, which, all over the blue planet, is now causing systemic ecological collapse. The other is the erasure of non-human life from the land by farming. ……..