Issues & Campaigns

    Pesticides containing neonicotinoids and bee health

    Neonicotinoids, sometimes shortened to neonics, are a class of insecticide that have been widely used in Australia since 1990. Neonics are registered for use in Australia on a diversity of crops, including cotton, canola, cereal grains, sunflower, potato, many vegetable crops and fruits.

    Australia has one of the healthiest honey bee populations in the world. This is due to Australia being free of some major pests and diseases, in particular the invasive varroa destructor mite, which has devastated bee colonies internationally. The APVMA, Australia’s independent agricultural chemical regulator, has also completed a report regarding the use of neonicotinoids and honeybee health in Australia, concluding that, “honey bee populations in Australia are not in decline and insecticides are not a highly significant issue.”

    I’ve heard bee numbers are declining around the world. What’s causing this?