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Stirling MP Calls for Pesticide Halt


Categories: Agriculture and Farming, Governance, Rural Affairs

Bee Populations at Risk

Stirling MP Alyn Smith has called on the UK Government to take urgent action on the use of pesticides linked to harmful impacts on bees, following reports of authorised use in recent months.

Neonicotinoid Thiamethoxam, commonly used to combat disease and pests in crops, has been linked to lower bee reproduction, with fewer queens in bumblebee hives and fewer egg cells in solitary bee nests. Evidence suggests the pesticides harm bee brain development, weaken immune systems and can leave bees unable to fly. 

Based on this research the European Union agreed to ban all outdoor uses of three neonicotinoid insecticides. Following the Brexit process, the UK Government gave assurances high environmental standards would be maintained.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Mr Smith points out one-third of the UK bee population is thought to have vanished in the past decade. Three-quarters of UK crops depend on bees for pollination.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:

‘We were told Brexit would not lead to a decline in environmental standards, so this is a chance for the UK Government to uphold those pledges. Clear evidence suggests these pesticides are extremely harmful to bee populations, on which our agriculture sector heavily depend on for the pollination of crops.

‘Swift action must be taken to ban these pesticides and protect bee populations. Months after COP26 commitments on protecting biodiversity, it’s time for action.’