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  • Unconventional Ag

Extensive Study Proves Link Between Neonicotinoids and Bee Death

The most extensive study ever conducted on the subject to date has found a link between neonicotinoids and honeybee hives less likely to survive through a winter, and bumblebees and other solitary bees producing fewer queens.

The study, which was conducted by the Center of Ecology and Hydrology in Oxfordshire, covered 33 sites across 2,000 hectares spread throughout the UK, Germany, and Hungary. This study echoes findings by a number of smaller studies that have reportedly found evidence the negative effects of neonics on bee health, however, Bayer, which funded a portion of the study, claimed the findings were inconclusive.

Under the study protocols, bees were exposed to winter-sown oilseed rape that had been treated with Bayer’s clothianidin and Syngenta’s thiamethoxam with a control of untreated seeds.

Data from the study is currently being submitted to the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA), which was the body that published a report in 2013 that sparked Europe’s temporary ban on the use of neonics. The group is now preparing another comprehensive assessment report to be released in November.

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