Three pesticides that harm bees will be banned from application to flowering crops in Europe as of July 1, under new proposals issued by the European Commission.
“This hugely significant EU proposal promises a first, important step on the road to turning around the decline on our bees,” said Friends of the Earth UK, which has been campaigning for a ban on these pesticides.
The three chemicals – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam - known as neonicotinoids, are among the most widely used insecticides in the world. They would be banned for use on corn, oil seed rape, sunflowers and other crops across the European Union for at least two years.
The EU has more than 2,500 species of wild bees, and one species, the honeybee, Apis mellifera, which has been domesticated and managed. But throughout Europe there is a severe decline in the numbers of wild bees and other pollinators as well as managed honeybees.