Bayer’s neonicotinoids kill birds, new research

This video says about itself:

Bees Dying Off, Colony Collapse

29 aug. 2010

Imagine a world without bees..

Imidacloprid is the most widely used insecticide in the world and Bayer´s best-selling pesticide (2009 sales: €606 million). The substance is often used as seed-dressing, especially for maize, sunflower and rapeseed. The beginning of the marketing of imidacloprid coincided with the occurrence of large bee deaths, first in France, later on also in many other European countries, Canada, the US and Brazil.

After huge bee mortality in Germany in 2008 which was shown to be caused by neonicotinoid pesticides the Coalition against Bayer Dangers accused the Bayer management of downplaying the risks of imidacloprid, submitting deficient studies to authorities and thereby accepting huge losses of honey bees in many parts of the world. At the same time, German authorities imposed a ban on the use of imidacloprid and its successor product, clothianidin, on maize. Italy and Slovenia imposed a similar ban.

In France imidacloprid has been banned as a seed dressing for sunflowers (since 1999) and maize (since 2004). In 2003 the Comité Scientifique et Technique, convened by the French government, declared that the treatment of seeds with imidacloprid leads to “significant risks for bees”. The consumption of contaminated pollen can cause an increased mortality of care-taking-bees. When individual bees were exposed to sublethal doses their foraging activity decreased and they became disorientated, which researchers concluded “can in the course of time damage the entire colony”. Clothianidin was never approved in France.

Music: ‘Through Time and Space’ by Elixirion.

From Nature:

Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations

Caspar A. Hallmann, Ruud P. B. Foppen, Chris A. M. van Turnhout, Hans de Kroon & Eelke Jongejans

09 July 2014

Recent studies have shown that neonicotinoid insecticides have adverse effects on non-target invertebrate species1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Invertebrates constitute a substantial part of the diet of many bird species during the breeding season and are indispensable for raising offspring7.

We investigated the hypothesis that the most widely used neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid,

a Bayer corporation product

has a negative impact on insectivorous bird populations. Here we show that, in the Netherlands, local population trends were significantly more negative in areas with higher surface-water concentrations of imidacloprid. At imidacloprid concentrations of more than 20 nanograms per litre, bird populations tended to decline by 3.5 per cent on average annually.

Additional analyses revealed that this spatial pattern of decline appeared only after the introduction of imidacloprid to the Netherlands, in the mid-1990s. We further show that the recent negative relationship remains after correcting for spatial differences in land-use changes that are known to affect bird populations in farmland. Our results suggest that the impact of neonicotinoids on the natural environment is even more substantial than has recently been reported and is reminiscent of the effects of persistent insecticides in the past. Future legislation should take into account the potential cascading effects of neonicotinoids on ecosystems.

Neonicotinoids kill bees, new research

This video from Britain says about itself:

Pesticides (neonicotinoids) and Bee Behaviour

3 August 2013

A science experiment showing the effect of pesticides (neonicotinoids) on bee behaviour. From the BBC Horizon documentary titled What’s Killing Our Bees?

From Wildlife Extra:

Neonicotinoids do cause significant damage to ecosystem

For the first time scientists say they are able to provide conclusive evidence that the systemic pesticides neonicotinoids and fipronil (neonics) have caused significant damage to a wide range of invertebrates, including bees.

The IUCN Task Force Systemic Pesticides (a group of global, independent scientists) analysed 800 peer-reviewed reports.

They found that there is clear evidence of a serious risk to honeybees and other pollinators such as butterflies and to a wide range of other invertebrates such as earthworms and vertebrates including birds.

“The evidence is very clear. We are witnessing a threat to the productivity of our natural and farmed environment equivalent to that posed by organophosphates or DDT,” said lead author Dr Jean-Marc Bonmatin of The National Centre for Scientific Research in France.

The most affected groups appeared to be terrestrial invertebrates such as earthworms which are exposed at high levels in soil and plants.

The next most affected group is insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies which are exposed to high contamination through air and plants and medium exposure levels through water.

Bird populations are also at risk from eating crop seeds treated with systemic insecticides, and reptile numbers have declined due to depletion of their insect prey.

“The findings of the WIA are gravely worrying,” said Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, Chair of the Task Force.

“We can now clearly see that neonics and fipronil pose a risk to ecosystem functioning and services which go far beyond concerns around one species and which really must warrant government and regulatory attention.”

Bee-killing neonicotinoids and the British government

This video from the USA says about itself:

Science Bulletins: Bee Deaths Linked to Common Pesticides

May 2, 2012

Several recent studies have questioned whether exposure to common pesticides might be impairing bee performance and contributing to the observed population declines. Neonicotinoids are a family of pesticides chemically related to nicotine, and are widely used in both large-scale agriculture as well as in home gardening products. This type of pesticide circulates through flowering plants and collects in nectar and pollen. Recent studies conducted by several research groups have shown that even low doses of neonicotinoid pesticides can impair bees’ navigation abilities and reduce the growth of bee colonies. Insects, particularly bees, are the dominant pollinators in temperate regions worldwide. Declines of honey, bumble, and solitary bees may lead to serious repercussions, not only for crop plant production but for the reproductive success of wild flowering plants, as well.

This latest Bio Bulletin from the American Museum of Natural History‘s Science Bulletins program is on display in the Hall of Biodiversity until June 6, 2012.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

From Wildlife Extra, about Britain:

Buglife questions Defra Minister’s TV statements about Neonicotinoids and bees

Defra Minister David Heath on ITV

July 2013. On Thursday 18th July ITV’s Tonight programme investigated the current bee and wild pollinator crisis which threatens food security. Defra Minister David Heath appeared on the programme and made a number of statements about neonicotinoid pesticides that are highly questionable.

Discounting the conclusions of over a hundred studies by independent scientists which show that neonicotinoids are an environmental risk, David Heath stated “There’s abundant evidence that this is a substance which is toxic in the laboratory…What we have not been able to demonstrate yet is there’s any linkage between that and what you see in field conditions where you have much lower dosages than were applied in the laboratory tests”.

Contradicted the opinion of the Government’s own scientific advisory group

This statement contradicts the opinion of the Government’s own scientific advisory group, the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP). In the January 2013 meeting “Members commented that the laboratory and semi-laboratory studies reported in the literature represent sound science. The main questions raised were about whether the nature of the exposure was realistic, and information to date suggests the exposures were reasonable”.

David Heath also stated that “Wouldn’t you expect there to be some evidence after all of these trials, somebody to have gone on and said “What’s actually happening in the field?” but they haven’t”.

Again the ACP advice contradicts this statement. In January the committee discussed the Government’s flawed neonicotinoid study on bumblebees and noted that there were actually statistically significant links between levels of neonicotinoids and bumblebee health in the field. This link was ‘modified’ in the final report was published by removing data. The European Food Standards Authority expressed concerns about “inconsistencies and contradictory statements” and questioned how the report “elaborated and interpreted the study results to reach their conclusions”.

David Heath blamed the flaws in the study on it being rushed through because of action taken by the European Commission. “Because we were doing it against a deadline set, not by any scientific research, not by any idea of do we find out the actual facts about this, but by a politically imposed timetable, which I’m afraid I think was quite wrong”. However, in 2009 Buglife produced a scientific review that clearly identified a credible risk to wild pollinators from neonicotinoids and submitted the report to the Prime Minister’s Chief Environmental Advisor at 10 Downing Street. However successive administrations were complacent and failed to respond to the issues raised in Buglife’s report.

Finally David Heath stated that “The risk is by banning neonicotinoids you actually encourage farmers to use other, perhaps slightly outdated technologies in terms of insecticides, pesticides which could be far worse for the bees”. Buglife is not aware of the scientific basis for these claims and will be asking the Government to clarify which insecticides it is referring to and to set out the evidence that indicates that they are more damaging to the environment than neonicotinoids.

Matt Shardlow, Buglife CEO, said “There have been profound concerns about the impact of neonicotinoids on wild bees, moths, hoverflies and aquatic life since 2009. Successive governments did not take the science seriously and appeared complacent. Now that the high risk that has been scientifically proven and a partial EU wide ban put in place the unwillingness of the UK Government to take regulatory action or to investigate impacts on soil and river ecology appears to go considerably further than complacency”.

To find out more about the Buglife campaign, visit

Neonicotinoids cause stress in bees which leads to colony collapse: here.