NZ Greens party against 'bee-killing' insecticides -

NZ Greens party against 'bee-killing' insecticides

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NZ Greens party against 'bee-killing' insecticides

The New Zealand Greens party is campaigning for the suspension of neonicotinoid insecticides over claims they are harmful to bees, according to a Radio New Zealand report.

MP Sue Kedgley told the radio station the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should to conduct a review into the effects of the chemicals, while the government needed to find long-term solutions to the problems facing bees.

"They (insecticides) attack the nervous system of bees, and that’s why the European beekeepers, and indeed American beekeepers, are convinced that it is the widespread use of these pesticides which they believe is the trigger event for colony collapse disorder," she says.

"The honey bee is so critical, it’s our whole economy. Our whole ecology, horticulture would suffer so I don’t think it should be left to beekeepers to initiate a re-assessment and pay for it."

New Zealand Association for Animal Health and Crop Protection (AGCARM) chief executive Graham Peters, told Radio New Zealand the party's claims were misleading.

"I think it’s really important to look at what the international research is saying, and that is that there are multiple reasons for higher bee mortality than normal – there are a whole lot of other reasons though like changed land use, air pollution, irrigation, pesticides get part of the blame, but not the neonicotinoid; it’s the off-take target application of pesticide," he said.

Plant & Food Research bee scientist Mark Goodwin said the picture was still not entirely clear about the effects of the insecticide on bees.

Photo: Flickr, Jason Langheine

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