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Bee on oilseed rape flower. Photo: ejausberg via Pixabay (Public Domain).

Defra stands up for bees: 'No' to NFU's neonic application

Oliver Tickell

13th May 2015

A damning expert critique of the National Farmers Union's application to use banned bee-toxic neonicotinoid pesticide seed treatment on a third of England's oilseed rape crop this autumn has forced the UK government to refuse the NFU's demand. more...
Forager bee pollinating a passion flower. Photo: Max Westby via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Chlorpyrifos 'may threaten survival' of Forager bees

The Ecologist

11th March 2016

The insecticide chlorpyrifos is not just highly toxic to developing human foetuses. A new study finds that it also damages the memory and learning ability of Forager bees even at very low doses, threatening the survival of this important pollinator. more...
A huge wild bee hive in Indian forest. Photo: Karunakar Rayker via Flickr (CC BY).

Climate change is killing off India’s bees

Pramila Krishnan

1st March 2016

A warming climate and the loss of natural areas are driving Indian bee colonies to the brink, writes Premila Krishnan. Losing this cousin of our European honeybee could be disastrous, as rural communities depend on their honey for food and income, and the bees perform vital pollination services. more...
Mining Bee (Andrena dunningi) on Hawthorn. Photo:  Dan Mullen via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

New research exposes hidden cocktail of bee-killing pesticides in hedgerows and wildflowers

Oliver Tickell

5th January 2015

Dangerous volumes of neonicotinoid insecticides and other pesticides are expressed in common wild flowers like buttercups and hawthorn blossom in countryside under arable cultivation, a new study has discovered. The discovery invalidates the UK government's 'pollinator strategy' based on creating 'safe havens' in arable areas - because the havens are in fact loaded with pesticides. more...
Female Agapostemon sp. sweat bee, Oregon, USA. Photo: Thomas Shahan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Farm expansion driving US native bee declines

Beyond Pesticides

28th December 2015

Wild bee decline is closely associated with the advance of intensive farming and habitat loss, a new study shows. It follows an earlier paper that linked 'delayed action' decline of wild bees to exposure to pesticides including fungicides - previously considered 'bee-safe'. more...
Bumblebee, maybe Bombus terrestris or B. lucorum, at Fairlands Valley Park Environment Lake, Stevenage, Hertfordshire, 5 July 2013. Photo: Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Our threatened bees deserve better!

Sandra Bell / Friends of the Earth

4th November 2015

On the first anniversary of the UK's National Pollinator Strategy, writes Sandra Bell, the Bee Coalition warns that bees are still under threat from highly toxic pesticides, continuing loss of habitat, and an increasingly inhospitable countryside. The Government must do more to protect our bees. more...
A bee supping nectar in a crop of oilseed rape / canola, Germany. Photo: Peter Biela via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Bee keepers challenge EU's bee-toxic pesticide permit

The Ecologist

29th October 2015

The EU's decision to authorise a new 'neonic' pesticide knowing it was highly toxic to bees has been challenged in the European Court. A similar permit granted to sulfoxaflor in the US has already been struck down by a federal court. more...
Wild Poppies flowering on edge of a wheat field in Essex. Beautiful - what about the bees? Photo: ukgardenphotos via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Bee-killer pesticides concentrate in wild flower pollen

Oliver Tickell

15th October 2015

Wild flower margins around arable fields can funnel deadly pesticides into the bees, wild pollinators and other insects they are intended to benefit, writes Oliver Tickell. Neonic pesticides are often far more concentrated in the wild flowers than in the crop itself. more...
One of the lucky ones: bumblebee on dandelion at Altenhagen, Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Photo: Jakob Stitz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Bee cause: Germany tightens, UK relaxes neonic regulation

Oliver Tickell

23rd July 2015

An Emergency Ordinance comes into force in Germany today that extends the EU's ban on 'neonic' pesticides to protect bees. But the UK's farming minister Liz Truss has relaxed the ban to allow farmers to use neonics on 30,000 hectares of oilseed rape. more...
The North American bumblebee Bombus vosnesenskii in Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Sean McCann via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Warming world traps bumblebees in 'climate vice'

Tim Radford

10th July 2015

As Europe and North America warm, bumblebees should be able to fly north to cooler climes, writes Tim Radford. But they're not: the bees' range is receding in the south, but staying put in the north, and scientists fear their shrinking habitat will put many species at risk of extinction. more...
The EU's neonicotinoid moratorium forbids the use of the chemicals on oilseed rape as bees can receive fatal doses while pollinating the plants - but that's exactly what the NFU wants permission to do. Photo: j_arlecchino via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Keep our bees safe! Liz Truss must say no to neonics

Nat Whalley / 38 Degrees

5th June 2015

In 2013 the EU imposed a moratorium on three of the most toxic of the neonicotinoid pesticides in an attempt to save wild bee populations. Now farmers have applied to lift the ban, writes Nat Whalley. Time to call on environment secretary Liz Truss, who today receives a 300,000-signature 'save the bees' petition, to say 'No!' more...
Crop spraying near Harvington, Worcestershire, England. Photo: muffinn via Flickr.com.

Revealed: the chemical blitz of pesticides in our fields

Dave Goulson

30th January 2014

An ordinary arable field in Sussex is sprayed with pesticides 22 times over a single growing season. Dave Goulson wonders how the bees can survive this toxic onslaught - and exactly who benefits. more...

bees: 1/25 of 58
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Bee on flower. Photo: dslaven / Shutterstock.com.

Neonicotinoid ban won't fix all bees' problems

Dave Goulson

30th November 2013

A temporary ban on neonicotinoid insecticides comes into effect across the EU this weekend. Dave Goulson argues that far deeper, structural changes are needed to create a countryside fit for bees and other wildlife. more...

Bees with Alzheimer’s – the price of pesticides

April 8th, 2013

by Pat Thomas

Pat Thomas on why me must continue to fight against excessive pesticide use, for the sake of both humans and bees....... more...

Frontline Online: What's killing our bees?

April 3rd, 2013

by Lorna Howarth

The Ecologist's Lorna Howarth reports on news and action from the environmental frontline.... more...
The A to Z of livestock

The A to Z of smallholdings

Lisa Stephens

8th May, 2012

Take one Alpaca, a scattering of silkworms, a couple of cows and a group of goats, and you could just be the next Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Lisa Stephens presents the A to Z of smallholdings more...
Tried and tested: eco-friendly lip balm

Tried and tested: lip balm

Ruth Styles

25th April, 2012

High on petrochemicals and low on efficacy, it’s time to swap your Vaseline for something a little greener. Ruth Styles puts the planet-pleasing alternatives to the test more...
Bees

Six reasons to become an urban beekeeper

Zion Lights

19th April, 2012

Urban beekeeping will help boost the UK's declining bee population. Here are six reasons to get involved more...
Bees

Grave threat of pesticides to bees' billion-pound bonanza is now clear

Damian Carrington, Guardian Head of Environment

April 2012

Replacing the pollination of food crops that the UK's bees perform for free would cost £1.8bn. With hard data now linking pesticides to bees' rapid decline, there is no excuse for inaction, says Damian Carrington more...
Honey bees

TAKE ACTION: Support Friends of the Earth's National Bee Action Plan

Mark Briggs

11th April, 2012

In China, pear trees have had to be pollinated by hand after bees were wiped out by industrial farming. Now FOE have launched a petition to get the UK government to help halt the decline in Britain's own bee population more...
On Stevenson’s trail: honey and horses in the Cévennes

On Stevenson’s trail: honey and horses in the Cévennes

Ruth Styles

11th April, 2012

Robert Louis Stevenson’s account of his epic 1879 journey through the Cévennes is one of the high points of travel literature but as Ruth Styles found out, there’s still plenty to be discovered more...
Spotters guide to spring flowers

The spotters guide to spring wild flowers

Rebecca Campbell

6th April, 2012

With spring in full swing, the UK’s ancient woodland is bursting into life. From bluebells to ramsens, Rebecca Campbell rounds up the best British blooms more...
Heavenly honey: why the golden stuff is great for your skin

Heavenly honey: why the golden stuff is good news for your skin

Ruth Styles

4th April, 2012

A natural moisturiser packed with antioxidants, honey is a sweet treat that can make a big difference to your dermis more...
Bees

Pesticides linked to honeybee decline

Damien Carrington, guardian head of environment

29th March, 2012

The first study conducted in a natural environment has shown that systemic pesticides damage bees' ability to navigate more...
wildflowers

Why bees & biodiversity benefit from indigenous wildflowers

Hazel Sillver

20th March, 2012

Filling your garden with wildflowers helps honeybees and butterflies, and creates a relaxed mood. And, from the Easton Walled Garden to Sissinghurst, there's plenty of inspiration more...

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