A Government study by their agency Fera into neonic use has been published today. Buglife have taken a look behind the spin of the official press release and conclude that the study shows three key results:
- A clear relationship across regions between imidacloprid use (the commonest neonicotinoid used during the period of the study) and overwintering honeybee colony losses.
- Neonicotinoid seed treatments (mainly imidacloprid) on Oilseed rape did not produce a consistent yield benefit – positive in three years, negative in one and no overall effect.
- Neonicotinoid use reduced insecticide spray use in the autumn only if the initial use of the neonicotinoid was ignored, but appeared to increase insecticide sprays the following spring – net effect circa 0.75 more insecticide uses per hectare.