Beekeepers turn away from chemical cash deals after safety fears

The British Beekeepers’ Association is moving away from cash sponsorship deals with pesticide manufacturers after concerns that the chemicals may be harmful to bees. The Association is looking for other sources of funding.

According to TimesOnline, bee numbers in Britain are down 54 per cent in 20 years. The Association endorses four pesticides — synthetic pyrethroids — used to combat the varroa mite that is linked to the collapse of colonies and in return, for the past 12 years, has received an annual sum of £17,500 a year from Bayer Crop Sciences and Syngenta.

In the meantime, a growing number of studies raise significant concerns about the impact of pesticides on the health of bees.

Research from China, for exaple, indicates that synthetic pyrethroids are toxic to bees and cut the number of eggs hatched.

Many also blame new pesticides, neonicotonoids, for wiping out bees. These pesticides are currently banned in France, Italy, Germany and Slovenia.

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