The worrying disappearance of our bee population
Bees, Birds and Landscape - essential for human development?
Globally there are more honey bees than other types of bee and pollinating insects, so it is the world's most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds and bats.
However, a shocking report published by the USDA finds that honeybee death rates spiked by 23 percent in the past year. Bees were already dying by the million, so this is truly frightening news.
The three most common neonicotinoids – imidacloprid, thiamethoxam and clothianidin – are banned in Europe and under review in Canada and the United States.
Farmers say neonics are needed to protect crops against worms and other yield-destroying pests. However the chemical companies that make the pesticides, disagree with the studies that link the chemicals to insect harm and environmental damage, and say they are safe if used as directed.
But there is a growing amount of scientific data that say the chemicals are contributing to the deaths of bees and insects, contaminating streams and leading to declines in some bird populations.