Here we aimed to quantify the impact on honeybees of two commercial neonicotinoid-based seed treatments in commercially grown crops of oilseed rape (‘Clothianidin’ Bayer CropScience and ‘Thiamethoxam’ Syngenta) via a pan-European, field experiment (during the 2014-2015 cropping season). The results will provide policy makers and regulators with independent, high-quality scientific evidence on the effects of neonicotinoids on honeybees and help to inform their decisions. Get access to the paper and the datasets with the links below.
Results published (June 2017)
The results were published in the journal Science on 29 June 2017.
Full paper reference: Woodcock, B A, Bullock, J M, Shore, R F, Heard, M S, Pereira, M G, Redhead, J, Ridding, L, Dean, H, Sleep, D, Henrys, P, Peyton, J, Hulmes, S, Hulmes, L, Sárospataki, M, Saure, C, Edwards M, Genersch, E, Knäbe, S & Pywell, R F. Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybees and wild bees, Science, VOL 356, ISSUE 6345, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1190.
Download the datasets
- Woodcock, B A; Knäbe, S; Jakel, K; Scrimshaw, P; Bullock, J M; Shore, R F; Heard, M S; Pereira, M G; Redhead, J; Ridding, L; Dean, H; Sleep, D; Henrys, P; Peyton, J; Hulmes, S; Hulmes, L; Genersch, E; Beckmann, B; Mitschunas, N; Webb, J A; Pywell, R F. (2017). Population responses of honeybees to oilseed rape neonicotinoid seed treatments in Hungary, Germany and the UK. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/eac530fe-54ad-4570-83d3-c59e70c0af9d
- Woodcock, B A; Bullock, J M; Shore, R F; Heard, M S; Pereira, M G; Redhead, J; Ridding, L; Dean, H; Sleep, D; Henrys, P; Peyton, J; Hulmes, S; Hulmes, L; Sárospataki, M; Saure, C; Raffa, B; Vaskor, D; Bihlay, Á; Pywell, R F. (2017). Population responses of wild bees to oilseed rape neonicotinoid seed treatments in Hungary, Germany and the UK. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre. https://doi.org/10.5285/b75b40f6-cdb1-4bfd-a599-bd2e171512e7
Presentation from Prof Richard Pywell outlining the results
CEH researchers designed and oversaw the delivery of this trial, with all aspects of the project scrutinised by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee, chaired by Prof Bill Sutherland of Cambridge University. This work aligns with NERC and CEH’s scientific aim of monitoring the impacts of human actions on the environment.
CEH researchers also utilised the field trial infrastructure to assess the impacts of neonicotinoid seed treatments on wild pollinators.
Lead scientist, Professor Richard Pywell, explained more about the project in a series of video clips recorded at the beginning of the experiment:
What was measured
- Science Advisory Committee Chair (January 2015)
- Experimental Design published (September 2014)
- Site Selection Criteria added (September 2014)
- Study Plan added (April 2015)
- Wild Pollinators Field Protocol added (June 2015)
- Residue method technical protocol added (January 2016)
- Paper published (June 2017)