They are cioncerned that these pesticides are causing colony collapse disorder:
Environmentalists hailed a “victory for bees” today after the European Union voted for a ban on the nerve-agent pesticides blamed for the dramatic decline global bee populations.
Despite fierce lobbying by the chemicals industry and opposition by countries including Britain, 15 of the 27 member states voted for a two-year restriction on neonicotinoid insecticides. That gave the European Commission the support it needed to push through an EU-wide ban on using three neonicotinoids on crops attractive to bees.
Tonio Borg, the EC’s top health official, said they planned to implement the landmark ban from December. “I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22bn annually to European agriculture, are protected,” he said.
Britain was among eight nations which voted against the motion, despite a petition signed by 300,000 people presented to Downing Street last week by fashion designers Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett. The Independent has also campaigned to save Britain’s bee population.
Four nations abstained from the moratorium, which will restrict the use of imidacloprid and clothianidin, made by Germany’s Bayer, and thiamethoxam, made by the Swiss company, Syngenta. The ban on use on flowering crops will remain in place throughout the EU for two years unless compelling scientific evidence to the contrary becomes available.
More than 30 separate scientific studies have found a link between the neonicotinoids, which attack insects’ nerve systems, and falling bee numbers. The proposal by European Commission – the EU’s legislative body – to ban the insecticides was based on a study by the European Food Safety Authority, which found in January that the pesticides did pose a risk to bees’ health.
The argument against this is that the evidence is not sufficiently conclusive.
Hopefully, the two year ban should provide some good data, though the Wiki indicates that the pesticide can persist in the environment for more than two years.