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When Used Properly, Neonics Don't Harm Honeybee Colonies
Research from University of Guelph


Individual honeybees may still be harmed or killed by neonicotinoids, but when used properly, honeybee hives are generally unharmed by the pesticide.

According to new research from the Canadian University of Guelph, when used properly, the three most common neonicotinoids used on flowering crops are not harmful to honeybee colonies. Proper usage includes ensuring that treated seeds are coated and planted properly, thus preventing airborne contamination during field seeding. The study, published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, analyzed 170 unpublished studies that pesticide manufacturers Bayer and Syngenta had submitted to regulatory agencies, as well as 64 peer-reviewed and published papers. The researchers acknowledged that clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, the three most common neonicotinoids, can still harm individual honeybees as well as other pollinators, but proper usage does not impact honeybees at the level of the colony, or the reproductive unit. They hope that other researchers will use their results to further examine the impacts that neonicotinoids and other pesticides have on hives, as most studies tend to emphasize individual bees instead of the colony as a whole. The full report is available for purchase at

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September 15, 2019, 6:17 pm PDT

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