EU approves complete ban on bee-killing insecticides

April 27, 2018 by  
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In a monumental decision that has been years in the making , all member nations of the European Union have approved a total ban of neonicotinoids, the most widely used insecticide in the world and a well-documented danger to bees and other pollinators. The ban is expected to go into effect by the end of this year, though use of the insecticide will still be allowed in greenhouses . The rapidly declining population of pollinator species in recent years is in part due to the widespread use of harmful pesticides. The ban should result in a healthier pollinator population, which is essential for global food production. The vote follows recent studies that have confirmed the danger that neonicotinoids pose to pollinators, directly and through water and soil contamination. “The commission had proposed these measures months ago, on the basis of the scientific advice from [the EU ‘s scientific risk assessors],” Vytenis Andriukaitis, European commissioner for Health and Food Safety, told the Guardian . “Bee health remains of paramount importance for me since it concerns biodiversity, food production and the environment.” Related: NASA has a plan to put robot bees on Mars This policy change pleased activists. “Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens, the scientific evidence and farmers who know that bees can’t live with these chemicals, and we can’t live without bees,” Antonia Staats at Avaaz said. Meanwhile, industry representatives disapproved. “European agriculture will suffer as a result of this decision,” Graeme Taylor, of the European Crop Protection Association , said. “Perhaps not today, perhaps not tomorrow, but in time decision makers will see the clear impact of removing a vital tool for farmers.” Research suggests that Taylor’s concerns are unfounded, while the dramatic decline in pollinator populations — which will continue to occur without action — proves disastrous for food production. Via The Guardian Images via Depositphotos (1)

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EU approves complete ban on bee-killing insecticides

"Bee-friendly" plants sold in the UK are coated in harmful pesticides

May 16, 2017 by  
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Conscientious buyers know to look for plants that aren’t covered in bee-killing pesticides , but as it turns out, those plants may be doing more harm than good. That’s because, according to a recent study, most of the plants sold in UK garden centers are coated with deadly neonicotinoid chemicals. Researchers bought plants from four major garden centers and a local nursery in the UK and found that 70 percent had neonicotinoid chemicals on them in quantities high enough to harm bees. Two plants were free of chemicals, while 23 had one or more (and up to 10) chemicals. Neonicotinoids have been shown to kill bees and contribute to colony collapse . Related: EPA finally admits popular insecticide threatens honeybees So how does one be sure that they aren’t harming bees? “Gardeners who wish to gain the benefits without the risks should seek uncontaminated plants by growing their own from seed, plant-swapping or by buying plants from an organic nursery,” said the researchers. Researchers published their findings in the journal Environmental Pollution . Two of the garden centers responded to the report, stating that they do not knowingly sell plants containing neonicotinoids. Via The Independent Images via Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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"Bee-friendly" plants sold in the UK are coated in harmful pesticides

Neonicotinoid insecticides kill honeybee sperm

August 1, 2016 by  
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A new scientific study adds to the growing amount of evidence that shows pesticides are harming bees . The study published this month in Proceedings of the Royal Society B is the first to look at how neonicotinoid insecticides impact male honeybee fertility – and the findings aren’t good. Led by Lars Straub of the University of Bern in Switzerland, the researchers took bees that had been exposed to two types of neonicotinoid insecticides, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, and then monitored them in the lab. They found the exposed bees had shorter lifespans and their “living sperm quantity” was reduced by 39 percent, compared with bees not exposed to the insecticides. They said their findings showed “for the first time” that neonicotinoid insecticides can indeed “negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity.” Related: Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection Drones hit sexual maturity around 14 days, but the research revealed 32 percent of the exposed bees had already died by that time. Only 17 percent of unexposed bees died by that time. Further, exposed bees only live for about 15 days, as opposed to unexposed bees who live for 22 days. These numbers don’t bode well for bees, according to researchers. They said, “This could have severe consequences for colony fitness, as well as reduce genetic variation within honeybee populations.” The Guardian spoke with Peter Campbell of Syngenta, makers of thiamethoxam, about the study. Here’s what he had to say: “Given the multiple mating of honeybee queens it is unclear what the consequences of a reduction in sperm quality would actually have on queen fecundity.” Scientific research has shown neonicotinoids reduce queen bee production and colony growth , and that neonicotinoids compromise physiology and reproductive anatomy in queen bees. The European Union banned neonicotinoids in 2013 , although in 2015 the UK briefly lifted the ban. Via The Guardian Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Neonicotinoid insecticides kill honeybee sperm

Here are some natural cures to help fight super lice

March 6, 2016 by  
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Health officials are warning that a new, medication-resistant strain of “super lice” has been found in 25 separate states this year. While the regular over the counter shampoos and treatments may not work to eradicate these pests, not to worry — we’ve put together a list of effective, natural cures you can use instead. READ MORE >

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Here are some natural cures to help fight super lice

The World’s First Approved Anti-Malaria Vaccine Could be Available by 2015

October 9, 2013 by  
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Image © Shutterstock Only months after the announcement that Sanaria researchers had created the world’s first 100% effective malaria vaccine , UK drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline has made a similar breakthrough in its own large-scale Phase III trial. The vaccine significantly reduced malaria cases and hospitalizations in African children across 7 seven different countries over the course of 18 months. If all goes well, the World Health Organization says, the vaccine may be approved for public use as early as 2015. Read the rest of The World’s First Approved Anti-Malaria Vaccine Could be Available by 2015 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: anti-malaria efforts , clinical trials , clinical vaccine trials , ddt , glaxosmithkline , insecticides , malaria , malaria in Africa , malaria prevention , Malaria Vaccine , parasites , World Health Organization        

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25,000 Bees Found Dead in a Target Parking Lot in Oregon

June 21, 2013 by  
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Photo via Shutterstock This week is National Pollinator Week , but you wouldn’t know it if you stepped into the Target parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon. There, shoppers noticed thousands of dead bumblebees scattered across the asphalt below a few dozen linden trees. Throughout the week, bees continued to fall from the trees — experts estimate that a total of 25,000 bees have been killed at that location so far. Now, the Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating whether pesticides are to blame. Read the rest of 25,000 Bees Found Dead in a Target Parking Lot in Oregon Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bee , bumble bee , chemicals , colony collapse disorder , dead bee , Dead bumble bee , insecticides , neonicotinoids , pesticides , Safari , Target        

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25,000 Bees Found Dead in a Target Parking Lot in Oregon

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