The current view is that losses are unlikely to be attributed to any one single factor. There currently seem to be multiple factors that have been implicated, but there has been a recent focus on a family of insecticides called the neonicotinoids.
Recent consumer press coverage regarding concerns over bee health related to products containing neonicotinoids has again highlighted the importance of providing gardeners with appropriate and balanced information about these widely valued and used types of products
What has often not been clearly communicated in recent press articles is that neonicotinoids are a broad class of insecticides, containing a number of different active ingredients, all of which behave in different ways. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published results from the review of three neonicotinoids; imidacloprid, thiomethoxam and clothianidin. The uses that were considered for the review were for agricultural use which is not representative of the garden use of neonictionids.
The products used in gardens have undergone a stringent registration procedure that will have taken into account the risk to non-target organisms such as bees. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the use of products containing neonicotinoids when applied as per the label instructions will not have adverse effects on bee populations in the UK.
It is the CPA Garden Group's belief that the vast majority of the UK's gardeners are responsible users of plant protection products and are respectful of how, when and where they use them. We would also contend that many gardeners provide conditions and plants that aid many species of British wildlife as well as the many species of bees that inhabit and frequent our gardens.
The CPA Garden Group takes bee health very seriously and is committed to continuously attaining a better understanding of the issues surrounding bee health and regularly works with Government and other interested parties to ensure the safe use of all plant protection products in the Home Garden market. In summary, we would reinforce the message that gardeners should continue to use and dispose of products responsibly, to always read the label and use products accordingly.