Experts from academia and industry were in London, UK on Thursday, 22 September 2016 to debate the evidence that the use of neonicotinoid insecticides has a real effect on bees or whether there are other reasons that might be to blame for their decline. The event was co-organised by Dr. Robin Blake (Compliance Services International – CSI Europe) on behalf of the Society of Chemical Industry’s Agrisciences Group (SCI) and attended by more than 40 delegates from across the UK and Europe.
Are Neonicotinoids Killing Bees – Event Review
The meeting included presentations from Tom Bradshaw (farmer and regional chair of the National Farmers Union, UK), Dr. Richard Gill (Imperial College London, UK), Prof. Keith Walters (Imperial College London / Harper Adams, UK), Dr. Tjeerd Blacquière (Wageningen Plant Research, The Netherlands), Dr. Alan Dewar (Dewar Crop Protection Ltd, UK), Prof. Lin Field (Rothamsted Research, UK), Dr. Dieter Foqué (Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Belgium), Norman Carreck (University of Sussex, UK), Dr. Anne Alix (Dow AgroSciences, UK), Dr. Christian Maus (Bayer AG, Germany) and Dr. Peter Campbell (Syngenta, UK).
The key conclusions were:
- Further studies are needed to elucidate the impact of neonicotinoids on bee populations at field and landscape level, and with regard to sub-lethal effects.
- Realistic dose rates should be used rather than artificially high rates to elicit an effect.
- Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. This is especially true where authors focus on a single factor (e.g. neonicotinoid use) rather than investigating whether other factors (e.g. loss of habitat, bee pests and diseases, weather etc.) might also be to blame.
- Need to understand difference between hazard and risk of neonicotinoid exposure.
For more information on the meeting or to request copies of presentations, please contact Robin directly (RBlake@complianceservices.com)