Several causes for the fast and alarming decline in bees might exist, but evidence has emerged that a dangerous group of pesticides play a key role.
Recent studies in France and the UK showed that neonicotinoids drastically reduced the navigation abilities of bumblebees and, worse, cut the production of queens by 85%. Very few queens mean far fewer bee colonies.
Neonicotinoids are widely used throughout the UK, on farmland and in gardens as insecticides. Seeds are even pre-treated with the chemicals, which is completely unnecessary. Pesticides should be a last resort, not used before pests have even appeared.
Bees are essential to nature and to humans. If flowers aren't pollinated, you don’t get fruit, wild plants don’t reproduce, and crops are not fertilised.
The obvious first step is to ban neonicotinoids in gardens. Gardens certainly don't need such dangerous chemicals. Ask DEFRA to ban the sale of neonicotinoids for domestic use.
We the undersigned ask that you ban the sale of neonicotinoid-based pesticides and seeds treated with neonicotinoids for domestic use. These pesticides are dangerous and new studies show that they could well be a key factor in the decline of bees. Aside from the conservation implications, bees are essential to the environment and to agriculture for their pollinating services.
While agreement within the EU on the use of neonicotinoids in agriculture is obviously urgent, there is no question that such pesticides are completely unsuitable for use in gardens.
We ask that you take the important first step of stopping the sale of neonicotinoids in any form to private individuals.
Thank you for your attention.