A UK government-funded study has found that a common combination of pesticides used on agricultural fields can have damaging effects on bumblebees and their colonies. The study revealed that the bumblebees suffered impaired foraging, increased number of deaths, and in some cases failure of colonies, when exposed to both a neonictotinoid and a pythrethroid pesticide.
There has been mounting concern about the impact of various pesticides on bees, both in the UK and worldwide. The relatively novel neonicotinoid pesticides, developed and promoted mostly by the Bayer company, are of special concern. There has been controversy in the UK about the links between the British Beekeeper’s Association and major chemical manufacturers.
The latest study adds further weight to the overwhelming conclusion that industrial chemical agriculture is no friend to our over-stressed bee populations.