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  • EU flags another bee-harming pesticide | Honey Bee Haven
    on the use of those chemicals We have yet to see if fipronil will be added to the list of restricted pesticides but EFSA s conclusion signals that protections for bees are more likely While European regulators are taking proactive steps EPA is still dragging its feet And it s not because the issue is any less dire here in the U S Beekeepers continue to report record breaking losses this year As PAN s Director of Organizing and Media Director Paul Towers notes If the cycle of EPA inaction and pesticide proliferation keeps up bees may not be able to recover And that s everyone s problem since bees pollinate one third of the food we eat We rely on the pollination services bees provide every day Fipronil is an insect nerve agent from German based pesticide giant BASF it is often used as a seed treatment and to protect pets from fleas and ticks Although not a neonicotinoid like Bayer s clothianidin fipronil is a threat to bee health EFSA concludes that it poses an acute risk to honey bees when used as a seed treatment for maize Fipronil based products have been on the market since 1993 and according to BASF are used in more than 70 countries Different pesticide same industry line EFSA s report this week has the pesticide industry scrambling to defend its products once again Employing a familiar tactic BASF s spokesperson responded to the new report by saying that bee die offs should be blamed on other causes and the problems facing bees are so complex that there s no point regulating any single factor While there are indeed multiple factors at play including pathogens nutrition and habitat loss the body of emerging science shows pesticides are clearly a key catalyst And

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/eu-flags-another-bee-harming-pesticide (2016-02-12)
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  • Europe steps up. EPA, let's do this! | Honey Bee Haven
    final decision to the European Commission which has signaled full support As stated by Tonio Borg Health and Consumer Commissioner I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over 22 billion annually to European agriculture are protected With the European Commission s backing the two year ban will go into effect in December restricting the use of bee harming neonics clothianidin imidacloprid and thiamethoxam throughout the EU Industry shenanigans While powerful grassroots support of bee protective policies has been growing the prospect of restrictions on use of their pesticide products prompted a fierce behind the scenes campaign from Bayer and Syngenta Bayer manufactures clothianidin and imidacloprid while Syngenta produces thiamethoxam As reported in The Guardian The chemical companies which make billions from the products have lobbied hard with Syngenta even threatening to sue individual European Union officials involved in publishing a report that found the pesticides posed an unacceptable risk to bees Other pressure tactics employed by the pesticide industry include distorting scientific findings blaming harms to bees on farmers and convening with decisionmakers behind closed doors More work to do While the new EU ban is a huge victory for bees and the network of organizations and individuals working for bee protective policies throughout Europe there is more work to be done Referencing the fact that the ban will expire in two years Keith Tyrell executive director of PAN UK released the following statement Whilst we welcome the EU vote as a significant step forward we are dismayed that it is only a temporary half measure which goes nowhere near far enough in protecting our bees and other vital pollinators from the harm of neonicotinoid pesticides Here in the U S policymakers have yet to take decisive

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/europe-steps-epa-lets-do (2016-02-12)
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  • New science: "Pesticide soup" scrambles bee brain function | Honey Bee Haven
    Two new studies confirm that common pesticides are scrambling the circuits of bees brains Researchers report that certain neonicotinoids and an organophosphate pesticide particularly in combination interfere with the insects ability to learn smell or remember all critical capacities for foraging honey bees The new studies add to a growing body of evidence pointing to pesticides as a key driver to the dramatic losses in bee colonies reported by beekeepers The research reported in the journals Nature Communications and the Journal of Experimental Biology observed an immediate epileptic type activity when bees were exposed to neonicotinoids followed by neural inactivation where the brain goes quiet and cannot communicate any more as Dr Christopher Connelly of the University of Dundee in Scotland described to BBC News The effects were more pronounced when the bees were exposed to both neonicotinoids and the organophosphate insecticide coumaphos Momentum builds for pollinator protection Earlier this month PAN joined partners and beekeepers to take EPA to court demanding better protections for pollinators And today the New York Times featured beekeepers expressing concern about neonicotinoids and the soup of pesticides contributing to the dramatic decline in healthy hives EPA regulators have indicated that they may accelerate the

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/new-science-pesticide-soup-scrambles-bee-brain-function (2016-02-12)
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