Continue the ban on the use of Neonicotinoids
The EU placed a ban on the use of Neonicotinoids due to the adverse effect it has on bees and other pollinators.
As the UK has left the EU, the Government should uphold these restrictions in order to protect natural pollinators. Decision to temporarily lift restrictions of neonicotinoid insecticide on sugar beet crops prompts outcry from public and conservation groups.
←Watch this TV news package on how Brexit will impact on Britain’s Bee populations.
A pesticide believed to kill bees has been authorised for use in England despite an EU-wide ban on its use outdoors two years ago and an explicit government pledge to keep the restrictions.
Conservationists have slammed the government’s decision late last week to approve the use of a pesticide known to harm bees, predicting the move will destroy wildflowers, pollute rivers, and further debilitate our fragile ecosystem.
Conservationists described the decision as regressive and called for safeguards at a time when British insects are in serious decline. Environmental NGOs continue backing ban on neonicotinoids during hearing at EUCJ.
Following lobbying from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and British Sugar, a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam was sanctioned for emergency use on sugar beet seeds this year because of the threat posed by a virus.
Matt Shardlow, the chief executive of the invertebrate conservation group Buglife, said it was an “environmentally regressive” decision that would destroy wildflowers and add to an “onslaught” on insects.
Michael Gove wrote in the Guardian: “Unless the evidence base changes … [we will] keep these restrictions in place after we leave the EU.”
Bees are essential in the life-cycle of plants due to pollination. This vital process allows plants to reproduce, and many plants depend on pollinators to survive. The two best known bees in the UK are the HONEY bee and the BUMBLE bee.
Save a struggling bee
Remember to ALWAYS handle insects with extreme care to avoid damaging their delicate bodies and wings.
1. Place the bee somewhere warm
Bees cannot fly if their thorax temperature is below thirty degrees so place them somewhere safe in your home, greenhouse, garage or shed.
2. Feed the bee sugar-water
Bees can tire out easily. NEVER feed a bee honey as it can catch viruses from neighbouring hives. Mix water and sugar, drop small amounts on a piece of kitchen roll or into a clean milk bottle cap. If you’re lucky, you’ll see it lick the sugar water out with a long red tongue.
Bees normally recover a few minutes to a few hours after eating a sugar solution. If it isn’t raining, put the bee outside somewhere safe (e.g. in a plant pot) where it can recover before flying away.
Attract bees to your garden
1. Do not use pesticides
Studies have found that pesticides can be harmful to insects and other wildlife, so switch to wildlife-friendly methods, e.g. using mulch around plants or regular weeding.
2. Provide shelter
Many insects love a shady, sheltered spot. Have an area in your garden to grow wilder with stacked logs, rockeries or you could treat the bees to a bespoke bee house.
3. Provide water
Bees drink water droplets off grass or flowers and use it in their hives. Deep water will drown the bee so spray water over plants in dry seasons, the odd pool of water allows a chance of a drink.
4. Plant for bees
Pollinators love plants such as dahlias, buddleia, lavender, clematis, foxglove, hosta and wildflowers.