In a very decisive move, France decided to become the first country to ban all 5 of the major pesticides being blamed for the death of bees worldwide.
The phenomenon dubbed as the colony collapse disorder is characterized by death of bees in record numbers and scientists believe that the neonicotinoid pesticides are to blame.
The EU was the leader in the ban by prohibiting three of the pesticides- thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and imidacloprid.
But, France took it a bit further- they also banned acetamiprid and thiacloprid in all farming activities, including the greenhouses.
Neonicotinoids- The Biggest Threat to Our Bees
These pesticides appeared in the 90s and they work by damaging the central nervous system of insects. Since it’s dusted on the plants which bees come onto, they also end up ingesting them.
According to research, these chemicals are to blame for the lower sperm count in bees which contributes to lower rates of reproduction.
Also, other reports indicate that the chemicals also affected the memory and homing skills of the bees and that this is what causes them to fly away and not go back to their hive.
Bees at Risk, so Is Our Food
A lot of people are seriously concerned about the future of our food because of the connection between pesticides and the reduced health in the bee populations. A long list of flowers, plants, and trees can’t grow without bees’ pollination.
This means that food can’t grow. Some farmers have unfortunately reported total loss due to bee populations.
Environmentalists and bee keepers praise the decision for the ban of these pesticides; however, some farmers in the country feel disheartened by their capacity to compete in the market of food production without to keep them safe from insects and bugs.
These farmers claim there’s lack of scientific data supporting such drastic moves.
Removing these chemicals raises the question of what their replacement will be and what are the possible complications that could arise.
The biggest farming union in France, FNSEA, called for exclusions in areas without alternatives or the lack of.
They warned of a potential unfair competition with European and non-European producers because of the ban.
On the other hand, in the US, President Trump repealed the policy from the time of Obama which had prohibited the usage of these pesticides near wildlife refuges and thus, allowed farmers to use them in protected regions and with reduced oversight.