APVMA to review science on pesticides and bee health
22 August 2012
In Europe and the USA there have been concerns for some time about the potential for insecticides to impact on the health of honey bees and other insect pollinators. Of particular interest is whether a particular class of insecticides, the neonicotinoids, might have sub-lethal effects on bees, which may reduce their ability to pollinate plants and produce honey.
These concerns have created some anxiety among Australian beekeepers who have noted that many of the neonicotinoids used overseas are also used here.
Accordingly, the APVMA has commenced an investigation of the scientific literature to determine whether:
- use of neonicotinoids in Australia presents any more of a risk to honey bee health than other pesticides that have been in use for many years
- current APVMA data requirements for testing of insecticides are adequate to address any potential effects of neonicotinoids on bees.
The outcomes of our investigation will be published by early 2013.
- Neonicotinoids and honey bee health in Australia (May 2013)
- APVMA pursues improvements to pesticide labelling to further protect bees (March 2011)
- More than honey: the future of the Australian honey bee and pollination industries (external site)
- Honeybee pesticide poisoning—a risk management tool for Australian farmers and beekeepers (external site)
- Bee Pests and Diseases (external site)
Chief Regulatory Scientist (Pesticides)
Phone: +61 2 6210 4701