National Farmers Union want to reintroduce neonics

The NFU is pressuring DEFRA to allow them to use neonicotinoid pesticides, now the mandatory 2 year ban imposed by Europe is due for review. Whilst the ban was in place, there seems to have been negligible impact on crops (perhaps ~5%, but then yields vary a lot from year to year anyway due to varying weather conditions, etc.) whilst wildlife is beginning to recover.

The main environmental groups in the UK have banded together as the Bee Coalition and have just sent a letter to Ministers asking that the NFU request be denied due to the growing evidence of long term harm to pollinators.

A couple of comments in passing

NFU policy is allegedly dominated by the large grain farmers; while the majority of dairy and organic farmers who do not favour neonics are sidelined.

The BBKA is not a member of the Bee Coalition.

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3 Responses to National Farmers Union want to reintroduce neonics

  1. John Harding says:



    The ill-informed, ill-fated ban was orchestrated by misinformed lobbyists who pressurised Politicians, both of whom know little or nothing about Beekeeping or how pesticides work.

    Neo-nicotinoids are not to blame for the demise of honeybees. Neo-nicotinoids are the safest pesticide used to date, as the pesticide only attacks the pest that attacks it. There has been much misinformed publication in the media about neo-nicotinoids being banned here in the UK for 2 years, which took effect on December 1st 2013.

    Lobbyists with an agenda won the battle. However, this action will now put farming back some years, which will do more damage to the ecosystem with farming using other previous damaging ‘sprays’. These will kill a lot more in, and of, the environment than neo-nicotinoids. Is that a success or a way forward? Lobbyists were too outspoken: they confused the misinformed media and pressurised politicians, in an area that politicians knew very little about. However, a two year ban was given, an easy option to please the misinformed lobbyists, the misinformed media and the misinformed public using social media made matters worse.
    I hope my solution is considered within the European Union before the next ballot in two years’ time. Politicians worldwide should consider the action taken by our own Member of Parliament, at that time, MP Owen Patterson; he was given the right advice via the Environmental Audit Commission to vote against the ban after reading my information. Owen was the only member to give a ‘NO’ vote. Lobbyists of the same worldwide organisation will pressure or force the same agenda of banning neo-nicotinoids on other governments unnecessarily. Politicians are running scared.

    It is crucial my solution is considered.
    Here are my thoughts as a Professional Beekeeper and Published Author regarding honeybees versus pesticides (neo-nicotinoids) in the UK, but I am convinced it is the same all over the world:-
    • If it was neo-nicotinoids killing bees it would be local: only beehives within approximately two miles radius of the area where neo-nicotinoid treated crops are grown would be affected or die. The honeybee demise is widespread across the whole country, including cities and national parks.
    • Therefore, common sense indicates it would mean that there would have to be a neo-nicotinoid treated crop every four miles, all across the UK, for at least 8 months of the year.
    • Beehives within cities or miles away from neo-nicotinoids should not be affected and yet they too, suffer and die out.
    • Lobbyists with an agenda for any chemical/neo-nicotinoid ban, who are not beekeepers, but dress up as beekeepers when outside Parliament, are using false claims using inner city beekeeping against rural beekeeping: and yet if beekeepers were asked, they would inform you of honeybee colonies dying in any environment, inner city or rural.
    • France banned neo-nicotinoids in 2008 and yet their honeybee decline continues.
    • Dr Denis Anderson stated, and I quote: “Australia is one of the biggest users of neo-nicotinoid insecticides in the world, and our bees are not in decline”.
    • Bumblebees were used in the original laboratory tests NOT honeybees.
    • Laboratory tests overdosed the bumblebees with pesticides (neo-nicotinoids) have now been found to be flawed; if science cannot prove a fact, then an opinion is formulated, so an assumption is made to what is happening to ALL bees in the wild.
    • When field tests were done, they were found to be inconclusive. This proves my point.
    • In other laboratory tests, Dr Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University, force-fed worker honeybees. This action led Professor Janis Ratnieks, a leading honeybee scientist at Sussex University, to state and I quote: “The doses used are greater than that found in nectar and pollen”. Unquote
    • The media then use these opinions and assumptions, twisting or only using part of an experiment report, making it ‘factual’ scaremongering by repartion. The more people talk, read or repeat, the more it becomes a ‘factual’ answer: and yet the original laboratory report was only an opinion and an assumption. Social multi-media only magnify the confusion to the misguided public.
    • In pollen tested from beehives near to neo-nicotinoid treated crops, only a millionth of a millionth was found on a pollen grain. This is not enough to give any honeybee an upset stomach, leave alone kill 80,000 honeybees in each of my colonies!
    • BBC Countryfile and The Wonder of Bees interviewed all responsible parties for the above information and are available on BBC, i-Player.
    • Beekeepers actively take their colonies to neo-nicotinoid treated oil seed rape for building up the colony or for an early spring crop of honey, and yet there is no detrimental effect to their honeybees.
    • Too many assumptions are made by unknowledgeable and ill-informed people (lobbyists), who do not keep honeybees, and the pressurised media then make it allegedly ‘fact’ by social media repartition.
    • Common sense and logic when considered, appears to overcome stupidity and yet the masses are still easily misled and act like sheep. One miss-informed media article and everyone becomes an expert.
    • My colonies are by, and where, pesticides are used and yet my honeybee colonies are not dying.
    • The parasitic varroa mite is a key reason for the honeybee demise but not the main reason.
    • There is one other key phenomenon overlooked by mankind, unknowingly – Planet Earth Electromagnetic field (EMF). The presence of the varying EMF frequency either kills or saves honeybees and can after correct positioning allow the honeybee colony to control varroa mites and all that mankind throws at them.
    • I have the answer, as hopefully you will read in my book “Geomagnetic Honeybees”.
    It has taken over 25 years of my beekeeping career to find that all bees/ants/wasps are affected by and have evolved over 200 million years using EMF for survival.
    Well documented writings say that neo-nicotinoids diminish or de-activate when subjected to daylight and water: which again, if true, would make it impossible that neo-nicotinoids in pollen or nectar could be the reason for the honeybee demise.
    Fact: Please remember Honeybees do not lie the world over; it is only mankind that blames something or someone rather than themselves.
    John Harding
    Professional Beekeeper, Published Author
    The above statement (18) was used by The Houses of Parliament in a Parliamentary Debate in 2014 also it has been used as a reply on social media where necessary when Neo-nicotinoid rears its ugly head by people who do not know the true facts and just repeat what they read or see in the media.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      In response to John Harding’s comments above.
      I have no position on his whether electromagnetic or physical vibrations have an effect on bee colony health, as I have not studied this. However, around 800 scientific papers have found correlations between neonicotinoids and pollinator ill health.
      A key point to note is this: neonics are indeed widespread: paper after paper comments on how tricky it was to find uncontaminated sites to run control experiments on for comparison. Neonics have been used prophylactically (as routine precautions, whether needed or not) for several years across most of the UK farmland, and are widely used in domestic bug / plant sprays, lawn treatments etc (here’s a dismaying list: ). They really are in every 2km square of land in the kingdom, and they persist in the soil for years.
      The other key thing to bear in mind is that they kill in two ways. There is an immediately lethal dose, and this high dose in the plant is what kills leaf munching crop pests. But there is another effect, akin to drunkenness, which arises even with the tiny doses of these neurotoxins found in pollen and nectar. This is what stops nesting pollinators finding their way home by dead reckoning. Note that if there is a sufficiently clear landmark they can still navigate their way home by sight, for example if they are confined in a 50×50 metre netted test plot with one object, their hive, poking above the crop. But returning across a mile or two of featureless fields becomes impossible. Most of the debate over neonics now rages over what constitutes a field realistic dose, as the pesticide companies try to find holes in the 800 papers’ methodologies.
      As often, the debate is in danger of going to the side that shouts loudest, longest. The pro-neonic lobby is well funded and has professional image management consultants working to undermine and divert those who try to raise environmental concerns. It is our responsibility to keep the debate focused on the issues at hand rather than sidetrack into others.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lindylou says:

    Reblogged this on Noordbijbees and commented:
    Even uw gedachten hier zorgvuldig over laten gaan


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