Bee killing isn’t only about neonics

Science on the Land

A few weeks ago, great news! The European Union banned three ‘bee killers’ – neonicotinoid pesticides. Three neonics with the, er, catchy names clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The ban will come into force on 1st December this year, and it will last only for two years, so let’s not get complacent.

The bee-killing story doesn’t end with neonics. It’s also about another insecticide called fipronil. This one isn’t a neonic, it’s a phenylpyrazole.

Like the neonics, fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide. That means it kills all kinds of insects – ‘good bugs’ as well as ‘bad bugs’. It’s a neurotoxin, attacking the insects’ nervous systems. In fact it can attack other organisms too. Here’s some science from a decade ago, telling us how fipronil can be bad news.

This week the European Food Safety Authority said that scientists there are concerned about fipronil. They’re concerned about ‘dust…

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