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Killing their buzz – Bee sperm drop caused by insecticides – Boylan

28 July, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan today reacted to the news that scientific evidence has shown that the world’s most widely used insecticide has a significant impact on the sperm of male bees.

Ms Boylan said:

“This latest research adds to already clear evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides have harmful effects on bee health.

“In Ireland, more than half of our bee species have undergone significant declines in numbers since the 1980s. In a country where bees provide free pollination services, which would cost €53 million annually to do by hand, the possible impact which a reduction in the number of bees could have on the Agri-food industry cannot be understated.

“The EU in 2013 announced a temporary ban on 3 widely-used neonicotinoids based on the high-risk they pose to bees. The news that bee sperm can be reduced by up to 40% by exposure to these chemicals adds to the mounting evidence that the temporary ban in place should be made permanent.

“This ban is currently under review by the European Commission who are due to come forward with their evaluation. I call on them and the Irish Minister for Agriculture to ensure that the latest evidence on the effects of insecticides on bee sperm are fully taken into account.” 

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