New research has proven that the use of bee-killing pesticides on crops is unnecessary and that poor management practices pose more risks to crops than pests. The pesticides used often harm pollinators such as bees, which are in rapid decline.
In the study, published by Environmental Science and Pollution Research, it states that only 1 per cent of corn acres are lost due to pests and that poor drainage and a high organic content can pose more risks of damage to crops. Researchers believe that not planting crops in newly converted land could be as effective as pesticides.
The report concludes that “over-reliance on pesticides for pest control is inflicting serious damage to the environmental services that underpin agricultural productivity.”
It continues: “The overwhelming evidence of negative effects on pollinators and arthropods needs to be weighed against the pest control benefits that these systemic insecticides are supposed to produce.
“Over-reliance on chemical control is associated with contamination of ecosystems, although in the case of neonicotinoids and fipronil, the scarcity of studies on human health to date preclude us from making a clear assessment.”
Bees are a major element of the food chain, with 80 per cent of food crop dependant on them for pollination. Between 2015 and 2016 there was a loss of 44 per cent to the bee populations around the world.
You can read more about bees and their crucial place in our planet in the April 2018 issue of Vegan Life magazine, currently on sale.