You are here

CEH study shows direct effects of neonicotinoids on bee health are rare

Bumblebee on OSR

Syngenta welcomes the release of a multi-country field study by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology published in Science, which assesses the impact of neonicotinoid treated oil seed rape on honeybees and wild bees.

The data generated in the study whilst variable, provides valuable and unique insights that help to better understand the ways in which neonicotinoid pesticides can be used safely. The report is a helpful contribution to the ongoing debate about pollinator health.

Dr Peter Campbell, Head of Research Collaborations said: "We welcome the fact that the study concludes that "neonicotinoid residues were detected infrequently... [and] direct mortality effects by exposure to high concentrations of neonicotinoids are likely to be rare."

"We were also pleased to see that in Germany during crop flowering, the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments has a positive and beneficial impact for both honeybees and bumble bees," he added. 

According to the study, landscape management, good bee keeping practices and planting wild flower margins are all important factors in bee health and where properly applied, the impact of neonicotinoids can be minimal or in some cases even positive. It is also important to better understand the small number of potentially harmful effects reported in Hungary and the United Kingdom and how these differ from Germany where the results were positive.

Operation Pollinator annual wildflower mix monitoring

Dr Campbell said "Syngenta is absolutely committed to improving bee health as bees are critical for the sustainability of agriculture and our business. We are pleased that the CEH study has confirmed there are no consistent effects of thiamethoxam on bee health. The study has also helped to highlight areas where further measures can be taken to ensure our products improve agriculture productivity while taking care of the environment."