A newer class of insecticide commonly used to control insect pests in crops is unlikely to present any greater threat to honey bees and crop pollination than other pesticides that have been in use for many years.April 29, 2014 3:00am
A newer class of insecticide commonly used to control insect pests in crops is unlikely to present any greater threat to honey bees and crop pollination than other pesticides that have been in use for many years.
That was one of the findings earlier this month at a symposium held in Canberra organised by Plant Health Australia, the not-for-profit co-ordinator of the plant biosecurity partnership in Australia.
The meeting of 90 representatives from government agencies, the honey bee industry, crop industries that rely on honey bees for pollination, and researchers, examined information gathered globally on the effects of neonicotinoids on insect pollinators.
It was agreed that neonicotinoids could adversely impact bee populations if used incorrectly, the same as other pesticides (including insecticides and fungicides), but that with sensible safeguards in place the chemicals could still be used to control pests on crops.
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority chief regulatory scientist Les Davies described the findings from a recently-published APVMA summary report looking at the possible risks to bees arising from the various uses of the neonicotinoid insecticides in Australia.
‘‘Having reviewed information collected from around the world over the past few decades, it’s clear that it’s not possible to attribute bee population declines in some parts of the world to the introduction of the neonicotinoid insecticides,’’ Dr Davies said.
‘‘Current scientific opinion is that these pollinator declines are likely to be caused by multiple interacting pressures that may include habitat loss and disappearance of floral resources, honey bee nutrition, climate change, bee pests and pathogens, miticides and other chemicals intentionally used in hives and bee husbandry practices, as well as agricultural pesticides.
‘‘To reduce the risks from pesticide use we need to ensure that a range of regulatory, industry stewardship and educational measures are in place.’’
The APVMA report acknowledged that incidents of beekeepers losing bee colonies as a result of insecticide do occur, but these can be minimised with proper use and effective communication between the farmer and the beekeeper.
The report concluded the introduction of neonicotinoids had probably reduced risks to the environment from the application of insecticides.
Plant Health Australia’s Rod Turner said the meeting was a positive step towards better understanding how honey bee activities and chemical control of insect pests can occur side-by-side, with correct use and application.
‘‘Australia has one of the healthiest bee populations in the world and the research indicates that with sensible measures, we will be able to keep them healthy and benefit from their honey making and pollination services,’’ Mr Turner said.
Greater Shepparton City Council has responded to a Facebook post slamming the organisation’s pound euthanasia rate.
The Australian Cricket Association has made the decision to postpone the Masters events scheduled for Yarrawonga this weekend in light of the serious injury to Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes.
Last week Victorian Collections passed a major milestone, with the 50000th historical object record from the state’s heritage collections uploaded to the site.
Shaun Burke, Paul Margetts, John McPherson, Peter Nesbitt and Keith Baillie spoke at Tuesday's Campaspe Shire White Ribbon Day event.
Rochester Secondary College students have finished their final exams, taking the time to relax.
Candidate for Northern Victoria Robert Danielli lays out the issues facing the region
The porblems of recent years hopefully a thing of the past.
No luck for Finley in Murray Valley cricket.
Heathcote and District Community Bank Scholarship recipient Tarlyn Grant is encouraging others to apply
A soaring new sculpture is on track to bring pride, visitors and environmental awareness to Katamatite.
SunRice chair Gerry Lawson announced his pending retirement from the board overnight.
A spring Future Orchards walks will be held at Coomboona on Friday November 28 from 9.30am.
The surpsingly vindictive but highly satisfying sport of croquet is being enjoyed by more residents of Benalla the the Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.