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Apparently EU ban on two neonicotinoid pesticides has been lifted by the prime minister, despite growing global scientific evidence against there use. It's more important than ever that we do what we can as gardeners to plant bee-friendly gardens and avoid pesticide uses.

My garden has never been so full of bees.   I reckon that through time I have graduated from showy double flowers to simple bee friendly food sources.  Perhaps we should all go back to nature.


This year my clematis and alliums have been covered with bees and the echinops and hostas are just getting going.  Earlier on the snowdrops, crocuses and other bulbs were busy and then the foxgloves.   The roses I bought last year and this are singles with open blooms that the bees can access and they love them.


This was posted by a Bee keeping acquaintance

Below from my beekeeping Society:

Breaking news: an hour ago, environment minister Liz Truss snuck out a last-minute decision to allow the use of bee-killing pesticides on UK fields.

It’s not good news, but thanks to enormous pressure from 38 Degrees members over the past few months, the approval is for a much smaller area than originally planned. By allowing the use of bee-killing pesticides, the government is going against it’s own experts and almost half a million 38 Degrees members.

Today’s been a big, surprising setback in our campaign to protect our bees. But we don’t have to stop here. We could talk to experts about whether we can appeal this decision. Or perhaps we should find out where the bee-killing pesticides are going to be used and launch local campaigns against them?

We make the best decisions when we work together. Can you help decide what we do now?

The process around this decision was a total mess. The government gagged their own experts from speaking publicly - after they initially said no to letting bee-killing pesticides back on UK fields. And then ministers made the final decision behind closed doors on the last day before MPs go on holiday for six weeks.

The petition to keep the ban on bee-killing pesticides has an incredible 473,000 signatures. And thousands of 38 Degrees members sent tweets, called and emailed the Defra ministers asking them to stand up for our bees.

Our pressure made a difference, the first application to use the toxic pesticides was rejected outright. Sadly the second one was approved, but for a much smaller area. So what should we do now?

Should we embarrass the government for making this dodgy decision by taking out adverts in newspapers? Or perhaps we should move on to other campaigns?

Please help us decide what to do next by taking this short survey:

Thanks for everything you do,

Nat, Robin, Maddy, the whole 38 Degrees team and the bees

Farmers Guardian: NFU granted Autumn Emergency Use Neonicotinoid Derogation:
Farmers Weekly: Neonicotinoid emergency use approved for 5% of OSR area:
The Guardian: UK government gags advisers in bees and pesticides row:
Parliament UK: House of Commons recess dates:
38 Degrees Blog: Breaking news - Bees:


Ceres - I agree.  The extent of corporate-gov affiliation currently is overwhelming and depressing particularly when short-term financial benefit overrides long-term issues, often with consequences which will preclude dire situations being recoverable in the future.


Is it coincidence that today I received an email from my MP in reply to the one I sent him 5 weeks ago?

Thank you very much for your e-mail regarding bees and neonicotinoids and I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

I entirely agree with you that bees and other pollinators play a vital role in the security of our food supply and the quality of our natural environment. I welcome the work the Government has done over the last few years to understand and protect them, most recently through the National Pollinator Strategy.
Decisions on the approval of substances that can act as pesticides are made at the European level. Since December 2013, three of the five currently approved neonicotinoids are not permitted for use on a wide range of crops considered "attractive to bees". A number of other uses remain permitted. These restrictions are not time-limited, and will remain in place until and unless the European Commission decides to change them.
The Commission has begun a review of the science relating to neonicotinoids and bees. This will include looking at the effects on bees caused by seed treatments and uses of the restricted neonicotinoids in the form of granules on any crop. The Government will contribute fully to this review, and will base its view on future regulation of neonicotinoids on all the available scientific evidence.
I am aware that the Government has relaxed the ban on neonicotinoids and two neonicotinoid pesticides (the two that are permitted) can now be used for 120 days on about 5% of England's oilseed rape crop.

I will certainly be writing to the Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, to make representations about this as I am very aware of the public concern that neonicotinoids have generally on the bee population.



When all is said and done, the fate of a few bees means nothing to those running the country. After all, the world's problems are all caused by any species other than ourselves. No fish in the sea? Its the seals eating them all. No blue tits? Blame the sparrowhawk.

And now Mr Cameron wants something done to address the evils of seagulls. Of course, Herring gulls are intent on global domination because one happened to pinch somebody's pasty. You couldn't make it up.


Fishy- would that be David Cameron - the champion bandwagon jumper ... by any chance? 


It would indeed FG 


I have to agree about the Seagulls , my daughter who live by the seaside, was frightened to go out one day last week because someone had hit a seagull with their car and hundreds collected outside her house, she couldn't risk taking her charges outside.

A Few years ago, I think they fed them with something to stop them breeding, it must be done again, these are very vicious birds and if left, wilol multiply to enormous amounts.

It's not just pasties, they have ripped a dog to bits, they would do the same to a child. daughter is very aware of them when they go out.


Herring Gulls are delivering a message to us about looking after the planet and our local environment. (They also delivered a message to me a few years ago when I went for a couple of days to the island of Rum, or Rhum whichever you prefer, and left my car standing directly under a street lamp at Mallaig!)


Lyn, it sounds quite Hitchcockian. I used to spend my summers by the sea near to a port and I remember the herring gulls as handsome, noisy chancers. I don't remember being scared of them. 

My theory is that in the fifties and sixties there were no fast food restaurants. People ate breakfast, lunch and dinner (or in my case, breakfast, dinner and tea) at home. It was considered to be very bad manners to wander about in the street eating anything other than maybe a boiled sweet. I remember getting detention at scondary school for being caught  serruptitiously munching a bag of crisps on the bus home (one of the teachers lived in the same village and reported me, the b*****d).

Also, there just wasn't spare food to throw around (literally) so people rarely fed the birds and the birds didn't expect to be fed.  Nowadays everybody eats all day long and throws waste food wherever the fancy takes them.  Birds are quick learners and the gulls have learned not to bother waiting for scraps to be thrown to them but to go in and grab what they want.

We only have ourselves to blame.


pansyface - we had exactly this conversation at work the other day. You've just said everything I said. I hadn't thought about the three meals a day though, but you're absolutely right about that - and it's humans who cause the problems most of the time. 


I think you must be right Pansyface.  If you look at the incidences of ADHD and multiple nervous and depression and anxiety conditions these days which are becoming more prevalent, sadly at young ages -  I'm sure it's a combination of manufactured produce.  We have no idea what is in the air, in our food, in our water, in our medications, cleaning materials, industry.  Chemicals and additives gone mad and the conditions and time/evidence-based trials etc on so many things in our environment have been produced and 'in the system' with not enough long-term study of long-term results and consequences.   General day to day activities, especially for youngsters, are so pressurised these days as well.  Everything is a rush for , often superficial, perfection, instant fix, products which produce instant results....I need to stop before the entire rant takes hold!



You are so right PANSYFACE.   I remember getting a smack on the back of the head from my Mother when she caught me eating a crust of jam in the street.  I'd sneaked it out to be like the other kids.    It just wasnt done.   Although I would eat Fish n Chips at the seaside. 


If you take notice of which species of gull you see following ships, especially fishing vessels, you will see that they are always Herring Gulls - they are by nature opportunist feeders; same thing at coastal colonies - they are the ones that steal other birds' food and eat other birds. Therefore you can't expect them to change their habits to suit us. We are at the moment taking away some of their food sources, by different fishing methods, improved practices at refuse tips, coastal degradation, etc. So they will look elsewhere to scavenge and, as Pansyface says, where better than towns and cities where food is plentiful through people providing a 24/7 buffet?

We are in the middle of a very noticeable process of change with Herring Gulls and our reaction is to blame the birds, which are only doing their best to survive. The only advice you can give to people is not to make themselves a target, i.e. don't sit on the sea-front at Looe with a tray of fish and chips next to a sign that says 'Don't feed the gulls'.

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