Today, Friday, the 28th, EU countries voted on a ban on three pesticides and their use on fields due to the increasing death rate of bees. The majority decided to ban them.
Which substances are involved?
The vote relates to neonicotinoids (insecticides). They are being used to protect plants from insects that are harmful to them. There are currently 5 of such products approved throughout Europe. The vote concerned the following 3 substances: clothianidine, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.
Where are neonicotinoids currently used?
Priority is given to the use of pickling agents by farmers. When a plant is growing, the substances are distributed in the plant – also in their nectar and pollen. Neonicotinoids can only be relieved slowly by plants, which is why they are able to protect plants against e.g. scale insects or cherry fruit flies.
Since 2013, the 3 controversial substances could no longer be used in the plants preferred by bees, such as corn, rape, sunflowers, cherries, apples or cucumbers.
How do insecticides affect bees?
Studies have shown that insecticides can cause forest- and honeybees to lose their orientation or even paralyse or die when there are big amounts of insecticides.
What was voted on today?
The EU Commission proposed to ban the 3 controversial neonicotinoids from fields and suggests to only use them in greenhouses. At least 16 EU countries, representing at least 65% of the population, had to vote in favour of this proposal. This has been done today.
Source: The Guardian