Neonicotinoid pesticides put at risk wild bees and honeybees, crucial for pollination and reproduction of many plants, according to new assessments published on 28 February by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The United Nations declared 20 May to become World Bee Day, adopting a resolution proposed by Slovenia and supported by all EU member states, which aims to raise awareness of the insects' importance and warn about their dwindling numbers.
Scientists have raised the alarm after a study 27 years in the making found the biomass of flying insects in nature protected areas has declined by more than 75% since 1990. The causes of the decline are not fully understood.
Traces of pesticides that act as nerve agents on bees have been found in 75% of honey worldwide, raising concern about the survival of these crucial crop pollinators, researchers said yesterday (5 October).
Honey production in Spain dropped 4.08% last year, the country's agriculture ministry warned. A decline in bees, which pollinate between 5% and 8% of global food production, poses a serious threat the food chain. EURACTIV's partner EFEagro reports.
After the two-year moratorium on three types of neonicotinoid pesticides, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) this month issued an unfavourable opinion on two of the chemicals, for uses that are still authorised. EURACTIV's partner Journal de l'Environnement reports.