France Ban The Use Of All 5 Neonicotinoids Pesticides Killing Bees
In 2018, France placed a ban on all neonicotinoid pesticides due to a significant decline in bee populations. These pesticides were primarily used in the 1990s instead of other, more toxic pesticides, which were considered harmful for people and animals too.
Neonicotinoids are chemically similar to nicotine and can’t harm non-target organisms.
They affect the central nervous system of insects and therefore they have been widely used to protect crops and flowering trees.
“Colony Collapse Disorder” is a condition that affects all bee colonies around the world as a result of the wide use of neonicotinoids. This abnormality causes worker bees to disappear, thus leaving behind a couple of nurses and the queen to feed the immature bees.
The exact causes of this phenomenon are still unknown, but according to recent research, the use of neonicotinoids is probably one of them.
This has also done irreversible harm to the environment. Namely, neonicotinoids are water-soluble chemicals that can harm aquatic animals if they get into large bodies of water.
Three of these chemicals have been banned by the European Union: thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid, while France has banned two more: acetamiprid and thiacloprid.
The latest studies have shown that neonicotinoids imitate the structure of nicotine which makes bees perilously addicted to them. This has caused numerous disorders, including low sperm count in male bees which eventually has led to a significant decrease in reproduction rates.
Another disorder was a loss of memory and homing skills among worker bees which caused them to leave their hives without being able to recall their way back. All these problems have resulted in a total collapse of bee colonies.
Bees play a huge role in global food production because they pollinate more than 90% of the wild plants and a third of the world’s food supply. A decline in their population will reduce the yield of all plants which are pollinated by bees and decrease the number of animals that consume those plants too.
Honey bees pollinate other important crops such as flax and cotton. Numerous non-food products are also produced by honey bees, such as beeswax which is used in cleaning. Bumblebees are pollinators of food crops like strawberries and tomatoes. There are 25 species of this bee in the UK, out of which are already facing extinction.
Millions of environmentalists and bee farmers support the country’s decision to ban these pesticides. However, crop farmers aren’t satisfied with this change, so they put stress on the lack of evidence regarding the harmful effects of neonicotinoids on bees.
Bees are of utmost importance to our economy. Without them, farmers would have to pay large sums of money per year to pollinate the crops. This will make the food we consume to cost a lot more and the whole economy to suffer.