Insecticides: Replacement pest venom Harms bumblebees

Sulfoxaflor is considered a good substitute for banned insecticides with neonicotinoids. But the remedy could affect the reproductive capacity of certain bumblebees.

Insecticides: Replacement pest venom Harms bumblebees

A pest poison that is supposed to replace Neonikotinoide, which is partly banned in agriculture, damages useful bumblebees. This is reported by researchers at Royal Holloway University of London in British journal Nature. For ir study, y investigated insecticides with active ingredient Sulfoxaflor, which is already approved in several countries. In Germany, admission is requested. The study showed that dark bumblebees (Bombus terrestris), which were exposed to substance, had much less offspring than ir own species (nature: Siviter et al., 2018).

Neonikotinoide were long regarded as a miracle weapon in agriculture because y kill predators of plants, but useful insects supposedly do not. However, researchers found that substances could damage bees and or plant pollinators. Sulfoxaflor has been regarded as a promising substitute poison.

For ir study, researchers for Harry Siviter now put 25 Hummel peoples Sulfoxaflor in concentrations for two weeks, as y would occur after ir use on fields. After two to three weeks, re were clear differences in comparison with 26 untreated colonies: In bumblebee races that came into contact with Sulfoxaflor, offspring decreased by a total of 54 percent. The replacement material could refore have long-term consequences for Hummel stocks, researchers write – similar to Neonikotinoide.

In terms of forage and pollen load, team did not determine any differences in behaviour of bumblebees. Before approval, new insecticides would have to be extensively reviewed, demanding scientists. Insecticides with Sulfoxaflor are registered in China, Canada and Australia.

Three approval applications for Sulfoxaflor in Germany

"The result is no surprise," says Christine Vogt, consultant for agriculture at Environmental Institute in Munich. Because Sulfoxaflor is similar to Neonikotinoide and also endangers bees. Neverless, active substance is approved at EU level. The finished mixes would have to be approved by individual countries. According to Vogt, re have been at least three applications in Germany.

In last spring, majority of EU countries, including Germany, voted for a ban on three Neonikotinoiden: Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam and Imidacloprid. In future, se insecticides may only be used in greenhouses, but no longer on arable crops. The decision will enter into force later this year. Farmers will n have to use or substances in fight against maize rootworm and rape beetles.

Or Neonikotinoide are not affected by ban on EU Member States. They are supposed to harm insects less, but y are also considered not so effective in agriculture.

Updated Date: 16 August 2018, 12:00

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