In an earlier article, we reported on research that suggests that these chemicals, which persist in plant tissues, are harming honeybees. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conversation has released a report which, based on a review of available research, concludes that the risks are greater than that.
According to this report, neonicotinoid use has become common, especially as a preventative measure. The chemicals are being applied before any pest damage or insect presence has occurred, both in the field, and even more commonly, seeds are being treated before planting. In fact, it has become difficult for farmers to find a source of seed that is not treated. Additionally, as might be expected, resistance has been observed in Colorado potato beetle, whitefly, and certain aphids.
The report cites limited research suggesting that soil-dwelling invertebrates, such as earthworms, are affected, as well.
In Europe, neonicotinoids have to be off retailers’ shelves by September 30, although they can still be used, by November 30, if already purchased.
Links to the earlier report, as well as an opinion piece on the risks of pesticide resistance, appear below.