Are neonicotinoid pesticides to blame for bee declines?

Lecture Theatre B33, Birkbeck, University of London,
Torrington Square,
United Kingdom

Are neonicotinoid pesticides to blame for bee declines?

Honey Bee

Speaker: Professor Dave Goulson, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex.

Friday 8th November 2013, 18.30 - 20.00

Lecture theatre B33, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London.

There is great concern over declines of pollinators. Although the causes are complex and involve multiple factors, attention has turned to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoid insecticides. These are toxic to bees at very low concentrations and are found in the nectar and pollen of treated crops such as oilseed rape. Exposure of bees to these has subtle but important sublethal effects on behaviour, effects that are not revealed by the regulators’ safety tests. These effects include impaired navigation, reduced capacity to gather pollen, and also reduced egg laying. In combination, these appear greatly to impair colony success in bumblebees, suggesting that they are a major cause of bee declines. A two year ban by the European Commission on their use on flowering crops will begin in December 2013. However, this ban remains hotly contested, with agrochemical companies recently launching legal actions, and it is unclear what will happen when the ban expires.

This event is free and open to all, registration is not required.

INVERTEBRATES AND US – the good the bad and the ugly
Free Lecture Series, Birkbeck, Ecology and Conservation Studies Society, supported by the Linnean Society of London

Invertebrates provide us with “ecological services” that many take for granted: they pollinate many of our crops, turn waste materials into fertile soil, provide food for birds and other animals, and assist us to control pests. But some invertebrates pose problems: they may themselves be pests in agriculture, or parasites on us. Invertebrates are easily ignored. This lecture series outlines the vital roles that invertebrates play in our lives.

Image: Shutterstock © Sebastian Kaulitzki

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