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Lecture 1

ENVS 1030 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Neonicotinoid, Agrochemical

Environmental Sciences
Course Code
ENVS 1030
Shelley Hunt

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Hello my name is Hiba and I am part of an agri-chemical company. Recently we have
been getting complains from environmental groups and beekeepes that our neonic
insecticides have been harming bees by declining their populations, which is why they
believe that the ban should be lifted, but we believe that it should NOT be lifted. We
believe that that are far greater factors for this cause backed up with good evidence, and
we also believe that our company is being unfairly vilified because there have been many
tests conducted that showed no significant results. One such example is:
Potential Exposure of Pollinators to Neonicotinoid Insecticides from the Use of
Insecticide Seed Treatments in the Mid-Southern United States
In this study research was done to evaluate the potential exposure of pollinators to
neonicotinoid insecticides.
They tested on honeybees, and collected samples of pollen from treated corn,
cotton, and soybean.
Their results showed that “no information exists that suggest the typical levels of
neonicotinoid insecticides detected in this study pose a serious risk to the health
of honey bees” (Stewart et al., 2014).
“Based on the low percentage of detections in honey bees returning to hives and
the pollen they were carrying, as well as the generally low levels found in pollen
and nondetectable concentrations in soybean flowers and cotton nectar, it appears
that the overall contribution of seed-applied neonicotinoid insecticides to
declining colony health is relatively low” (Stewart et al., 2014).
neonicotinoids don't kill off bee colonies as long as they're used properly.
A study done by name that tested neontic intecitcides on honeybees
Factors that may pose a threat to bee decline:
Virus- said to be the greatest factor for bee population decrease
Climate change- longer winters, prolong droughts- bees migrate to the north because of
droughts since they can’t find food since no flowers are growing.- in the north there are
longer winters happening due to climate change- less flower growth-starve-die
Neonicotinoids were introduced in the early 1990s as a replacement for older, more
damaging chemicals-- isn’t this good?
There is NO definitive scientific evidence that neonicotinoids are the primary
cause of pollinator declines. Neonicotinoids are important reduced risk pesticides
for management of some of our most damaging pests. Neonicotinoids should be
better regulated, not banned.”
“Given the current state of knowledge, banning neonicotinoids is a premature and
disproportionate response to a complex issue. This requires holistic scientific
inquiry and interpretation, and cooperation among stakeholders. Any changes
must be based on science rather than opinion, current trends, or fear”
Not all neonics are created equal, and thus, they should not all be lumped together
as “an equal” and all be banned.
find more resources at
find more resources at
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