‘Unintended consequences’: UK restrictions on neonicotinoid insecticides may have harmed bees

| | February 21, 2019

One of Britain’s biggest beekeepers says he must relocate hundreds of hives because cabbage stem flea beetle has destroyed so much oilseed rape this season.

Perthshire-based Murray McGregor turned to social media to highlight his plight – saying his business had been bitten by the law of unintended consequences. He tweeted: “The neonics ban has left one of our biggest and best farms having to plough in ALL their oilseed rape as flea beetle has decimated it.

Mr McGregor, who keeps bees across the country, said he was now looking for “English homes for another 250 colonies that now have no spring crop.”

Neonics have been banned on oilseed rape since December 2013 – much to the frustration of farmers who say they provide vital protection against flea beetle….

Related article:  Researchers suggest GMO oilseed crop led to deformed butterflies, critic questions study design

Mr McGregor is the owner of Denrosa Apiaries – believed to be Scotland’s largest commercial beekeeping operation with about 3,000 production hives. He had never supported the neonicotinoid ban because he “saw no evidence of it killing our bees” – but added that he didn’t want his situation to be over-played.

He explained that his story had been rather over-exploited since he spoke out about it on [February 15]….“Flea beetle outbreak is ONE cause of the issue, but these things don’t happen in isolation.”

Read full, original article: Flea beetle decimates OSR crop leading to hive relocation headache

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