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Bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators, so their decline is cause for concern. James Johnstone / CC BY 2.0

Pesticide Touted as Neonicotinoid Replacement Still Harms Bees

As evidence builds that neonicotinoids harm bees and other pollinators and bodies like the EU move to ban them, the agricultural sector is casting about for something to replace what is currently the most-used type of insecticide worldwide.

But a study published in Nature Wednesday serves as a warning that any new pesticides must be properly vetted.

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Bees like this one could be harmed by the lifting of a ban on neonicotinoids in national wildlife refuges. Mark Winterbourne / CC BY 2.0

Trump Admin Reverses Ban on 'Bee-Killing' Pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges

The Trump administration has lifted an Obama-era ban on the use of genetically modified crops and pesticides linked to bee decline in certain national wildlife refuges where farming is allowed, Reuters reported Saturday.

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Low doses of most pesticides impair bees' learning and memory. Richard / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Low Doses of Pesticides Make It Harder for Bees to Find Flowers

A review of a decade of research of the impact of pesticides on bees found that even low doses commonly used in agriculture hurt the bees' learning and memory, a Royal Holloway, University of London press release reported.

The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of Applied Ecology, found the bees' ability to remember floral scents was harmed even by pesticides not covered by Europe's recent ban on neonicotinoids.

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Neonicotinoid Pesticides Have Been Found in Wild Turkeys

By Dan Nosowitz

Neonicotinoid pesticides have commonly been linked to the plight of honeybees.

But a new study from the University of Guelph finds that honeybees aren't the only non-pest creatures that are coming into contact with the pesticides.

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Soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoids (blue) and treated corn seeds (red) versus untreated seeds. Ian Grettenberger / PennState University, CC BY-ND

Why It’s Time to Curb Widespread Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticide

By John F. Tooker

Planting season for corn and soybeans across the U.S. corn belt is drawing to a close. As they plant, farmers are participating in what is likely to be one of the largest deployments of insecticides in U.S. history.

Almost every field corn seed planted this year in the U.S.—approximately 90 million acres' worth—will be coated with neonicotinoid insecticides, the most widely used class of insecticides in the world. The same is true for seeds in about half of U.S. soybeans—roughly 45 million acres and nearly all cotton—about 14 million acres. In total, by my estimate, these insecticides will be used across at least 150 million acres of cropland, an area about the size the Texas.

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An Asian elephant eating tree bark. Yathin S Krishnappa / CC BY-SA 3.0

5 Conservation Milestones to Celebrate on This International Day for Biological Diversity

Scientists are increasingly realizing the importance of biodiversity for sustaining life on earth. The most comprehensive biodiversity study in a decade, published in March by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), warned that the ongoing loss of species and habitats was as great a threat to our and our planet's wellbeing as climate change.

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Greenpeace EU / Twitter

EU Approves Ban on 'Bee-Killing' Neonicotinoids

European governments approved Friday a proposal to widen a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides that studies have found are harmful to bees and other pollinators.

The move completely bans the outdoor uses of three neonicotinoids, or neonics, across the European Union. They include Bayer CropScience's imidacloprid, Syngenta's thiamethoxam and clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience.

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Recently up-listed to 'Vulnerable,' the snowy owl's rapid decline is likely connected to climate change. Wikimedia Commons

One in Eight Bird Species Threatened With Extinction, Study Finds

A major global assessment of global bird populations paints a grim outlook for our feathered friends.

A new report from BirdLife International finds that 40 percent of the world's 11,000 bird species are in decline, with one in eight bird species now under some threat of extinction.

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Native Shrimp Must Be Saved From Neonics, Washington State Rules

Monday, the Washington Department of Ecology sided with Center for Food Safety and numerous other community and conservation groups, and denied shellfish growers a permit to spray imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, on shellfish beds on Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor, in southwest Washington. The requested permit would have allowed shellfish growers from Willapa-Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association to spray this neurotoxic insecticide into water for the first time, in order to kill native burrowing shrimp.

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