Experts Demanding a Bee Pesticide Ban in Australia
Experts are calling for Australia to ban a range of pesticides that are harmful to bees, according to Nigel Andrew from TheConversation.com.
The pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, affect bees’ central nervous system. Lab tests showed the pesticides reduced the bee’s ability to learn.
The pesticides have been banned across the European Union following a dramatic fall in bee populations across the region.
Some scientists say that the lab results are not replicated in the field and that the pesticides are a powerful and inexpensive way to protect crops. In addition, the are easy to apply.
It is important to remember that bees pollinate crops worth around four to six billion dollars in Australia alone. These include canola, sunflowers, lucerne and many fruit trees. Any risk to the bees is therefore a risk to these essential industries and food security.
Although the pesticides don’t kill bees, they reduce their reproductive and pollination abilities and critics argue this is too big a risk to take.