Field Studies Confirm Neonicotinoids’ Harm to Bees

For years, scientists have been amassing evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides, meant to keep insect pests off agricultural crops, are also harming essential pollinators, bees. But laboratory studies are limited and real-world simulations have been lacking. Two large field studies published today (June 29) in Science largely confirm that neonicotinoids are bad for bees.

A three-country European field study led by Richard Pywell, a lead scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the U.K., reports that neonicotinoid exposure generally reduces the honey bee’s ability to survive the winter and reduces the reproductive success of wild bees. A Canadian study, led by Amro Zayed at Toronto’s York University, confirms that bees in the field are exposed to doses of neonicotinoids similar to those scientists have been using in the lab.
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