France Attempts to Save the Bees


All over the world, the plight of the bees has been a growing concern over the past few decades. However, many nations and organizations have done very little to address the problem of the diminishing bee populations. This lackadaisical approach could set off disastrous consequences should it continue. Now, France has made a serious statement about its efforts to protect the bees. Starting in the month of December, farmers will no longer be able to use the following neonicotinoids: thiamethoxam, clothianidin, imidacloprid, acetamiprid and thiacloprid.

The government feels so strongly about these particular compounds that they are no longer permitted for use in greenhouses either, in addition to being banned on farmland. Even though the change definitely seems positive to those who have researched the matter, there are, of course, farmers who take umbrage with the fact that these pesticides will be eliminated. Concerned that their crops will no longer be able to grow, they have voiced their dissent. But for those who are worried about the state of the environment—and since bees play such an important role—this new rule is definitely a win.

It all comes down to a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder. While the aforementioned pesticides may not directly affect bees all of the time, their indirect impact is the breakdown of the entire system in which bees are able to thrive. With evidence indicating that the pesticides may make it more difficult for bees to remember and find what they need, there is even a growing body of research demonstrating that the bees can become addicted to the substances in the same manner that humans can become addicted to smoking cigarettes. Now that France has taken a positive stance on the issue, it should be very interesting to see how other countries choose to treat the challenge of keeping the bees alive.

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