The member nations of the EU voted for a near-total ban of neonicotinoid insecticides, over the objections of farmers and pesticide manufacturers. Known as neonics, the chemicals are the most widely used class of insecticides in the world and have been linked by scientific studies to the decline in honeybees and other pollinators, said BBC News.
The European Commission is considering draft regulations to ban the mostly widely used insecticides in fields across Europe in order to protect bees, according to documents obtained by The Guardian via the Pesticide Action Network Europe. A vote is expected this May; if passed the ban could take effect within months.
Pesticide manufacturers Syngenta and Bayer appear to have secreted away studies that showed their pesticides did serious harm to honeybees, rather than revealing the results to the public. After Greenpeace obtained the studies from the EPA through the Freedom of Information Act, scientists are calling on the two companies to operate with more transparency, says The Guardian.
New research suggests that neonicotinoids, a leading culprit in the ongoing decimation of honeybee populations, may also be snuffing out the next generation of bees by cutting the quantity and viability of sperm in male bees by nearly 40 percent, writes The Guardian.