[1 March/Radio NZ]

An analysis of neonicotinoids, a group of pesticides, has confirmed they are harmful to wild bees and honey bees. The analysis by Europe’s food safety watchdog, EFSA, collected scientific evidence and literature reviews on the effect the pesticide had on bees, concluding that any outdoor use of neonicotinoids put bees at risk. In New Zealand, the use of the pesticide is controlled by the Environmental Protection Authority. Victoria University Professor Phil Lester, one of New Zealand’s leading insect experts, said the findings were concerning and that nobody wants to see our pollinator populations collapse. Professor Lester added that he thought the study of was use, however New Zealand is still quite different from Europe so the results should be interpreted in light of our crops and the way New Zealand uses neonicotinoids.