Two new studies linking the collapse of bee populations to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides were published to great fanfare last week.
Funnily enough, neither study came about thanks to the £1m of projects launched by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2009 to investigate the disappearing bee phenomenon - with generous funding from pesticide manufacturer Syngenta,
Although the research teams that received that funding, at Warwick University and the Rothamsted Research labs, have since published studies on bee health looking at fungal infections, mites and environmental factors, there's no sign of any findings related to the impact of the current generation of pesticides.
Professor David Goulson said his Stirling University team, which did link pesticides with the collapse in bee numbers, hadn't had any industry funding for its work. "In fact, it wasn't really funded at all," he told the Eye, saying that researchers in the biological and environmental sciences team had done the work in their spare time between other projects. The other paper citing a link with pesticides was produced by France's National Institute for Agronomic Research.
Several European countries banned neonicotinoids years ago, as reported by the Eye in 2008.
Source: Private Eye
Additional bee footage kindly supplied by 4Moorhens2.
"Music" is my own.
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