# Monday, 31 January 2011

If this article is to be believed a new generation of pesticides could be linked to Britain’s vanishing honeybees. The results from a new study show that chemicals which are routinely used on farms and in garden centres can attack the central systems of insects and make bee colonies vulnerable to disease. The claims come from a study carried out by the US Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory and could explain why bee colonies are declining.

The number of bees in Britain have fallen by half since the 1980s. The new study points to neo-nicotinoids as a pesticide that makes bees more susceptible to infection. The pesticides which were introduced in the 1990s to replace the controversial organo phosphates appear on the surface to be harmless but when applied to seeds are found in low levels throughout a growing plant including in its pollen and nectar. The study certainly looks damning and the Co-op has already banned neo-nicotinoids on its UK farms, however the manufacturer Bayer has insisted its products do not harm bees.

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