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.
Veteran Newman to play for Dandenong once more
The Yarrawonga Pigeons defeated Corowa Rutherglen Roos by 76 points at the JC Lowe Oval in Yarrawonga.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
AFFORDABLE housing is only one of the reasons Melbourne property buyers are zeroing in on Echuca-Moama.
AFTER 46 years of garden growing, Rochester and District Garden Club members are hanging up their spades, drying out their gloves and getting ready to watch the weeds grow.
Gift fundraiser is looking for toddler talent.
Local export Willie Wheeler dominating at VFL level
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
THE Heathcote Community will come together once again to honour the memory of car accident victim Georgia Edsall-French at a memorial day this Saturday.
Katamatite Lions Club held its 42nd annual handover dinner at the Boosey Creek Tavern on July 13.
Mathoura endured a harsh hammering to its playing confidence on Saturday with a 24-goal thrashing at the hands of Deniliquin Rovers.
The demand for organic milk in Australia is outstripping supply, creating an opportunity for the region’s dairy farmers.
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
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.