Government together with the Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce are looking into whether a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides could help preserve the insect. Farmers are also being consulted as part of the major initiative to help restore the number of bees on the Island.
Bees play a vital role in the food chain through pollination, and experts believe that one third of the food consumers eat would not be available but for bees.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection told The Royal Gazette a comprehensive review of pesticides needed to be done before a chance of policy could be implemented.
“The Department, in consultation with farmers, continues in its efforts to achieve a comprehensive picture of the array of pesticides being used on imported seed as it develops a strategy for dealing with any possible risks posed by neonicotinoid pesticides,” the spokeswoman said
“Upon receipt of this information, decisions can be made relative to the importation of neonicotinoid pesticides into Bermuda as seed treatments, foliar and granular applications. A comprehensive review must be completed prior to any changes in policy.”
Bermuda’s bees have been in a state of decline for many years. In 2008 there were 350 beehives on the Island, now there are around 125.
“Most people don’t give it much thought, but bees are the pollinators for up to one-third of the foods humans consume,” Stuart Hayward, chairman of BEST, said.
“Recent occurrences of the collapse of bee hive populations has caused concern among beekeepers and farmers globally and locally.
“One culprit in bee die-offs is a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, now the world’s most widely used type of insecticide.
“In follow-up to the Bee Fair held in April this year, a BEST team is working with the Department of Environmental Protection to determine if a ban on neonicotinoids, and/or other steps, will be most effective in assuring sustainability in bee populations and in the honey and food pollination they provide us.”
See original article here: http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20140923/NEWS/140929911