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Neonicotinoid Insecticides Linked to Wild Bee Decline

Neonicotinoid Insecticides Linked to Wild Bee Decline

Exposure to neonicotinoid seed treated oilseed rape crops has been linked to long-term population decline of wild bee species across the English countryside, according to research published in Nature Communications. The research, led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, examined changes in the occurrence of 62 wild bee species with oilseed rape cropping patterns across England between 1994 and 2011—the time period spanning the introduction of wide-scale commercial use of neonicotinoids. The scientists found evidence suggesting that neonicotinoid use is linked to large-scale and long-term decline in wild bee species communities. The decline was, on average, three times stronger among species that regularly feed on the crop such as Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) compared to species that forage on a range of floral resources. Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that can be applied to seed prior to planting.
– sciencedaily.com