Is there honey still for tea?
REATING oilseed rape with neonicotinoid insecticides is contributing to a ‘large-scale and long-term decline’ in wild bees, new research by the Centre for ecology & Hydrology shows. Scientists reviewed records for 62 bee species over 17 years and found that declines were three times greater among species that regularly feed on the crop, compared with those that forage on a range of flowers.
However, the paper’s lead author, Ben Woodcock, concludes that ‘neonics’ are not wholly to blame. Dr Woodcock says: ‘Wild bees have undergone global declines that have been linked to habitat loss and fragmentation, pathogens, climate change and other insecticides.’
TThe report concludes: ‘Restrictions on neonicotinoid use may reduce population declines.’ The insecticides have been banned under eu law, although Defra allowed temporary concessions for a few oilseed-rape farms. The eu’s review of the situation is due in January.
Weather has been a problem for domestic bees this year and honey could be in short