June 27, 2017 Intensive Agriculture Written by Guest Contributor
Why Declining Bee Populations Are a Threat to Global Health
The plight of the bumblebee, and many

other types of bee for that matter, has been widely documented over recent years, and it’s no secret that our little pollinator friends are in a spot of trouble.

Some UK wild bee populations have declined by as much as 90%, colonies are experiencing greater winter losses, and Colony Collapse Disorder has been seen to wipe out whole colonies. There’s no doubt that something is amiss.

So what is it that’s causing our bees so many problems?

There are various issues at play here, including climate change, disease and parasites (namely pesky varroa mites), but one of the biggest contributing factors has been put down to a pesticide known as neonics.

Neonicotinoids, to give them their full name, are a nictone-based pesticide designed to control a variety of pets. However, they’re also incredibly harmful to bees, and have been shown to be a particular problem for bumblebees and solitary bees. Neonics affect the central nervous system of bees, which has an effect on foraging behaviour, communication, breeding, immune system, and more, which eventually leads to their death.

While there is now some legislation banning certain neonics in some parts of the world, they are still widely used in things like soil treatments for plants, turf treatment, crops sprays, and more. The following infographic from Sun Leisure goes into more detail exactly about the problem, explaining how neonics are used, why they’re a problem, and what the alternatives are. It also reveals the shocking facts about how our world would be affected if bees became extinct.

* Click on a little bee icon for some more information.


The source of the infographic: http://www.sun-leisure.com
The text is written by Chris Thomson.