Neonicotinoids & Pollinators

Key facts about neonicotinoids and pollinators:
  • Since their introduction in the 1990s, the use of neonicotinoids has expanded so that today they comprise about 30% by value of the global insecticide market.
  • Insects are important for pollinating many UK crops, including strawberry, raspberry, apple, pear, plum, tomato and many vegetables.
  • The populations of both managed honeybees and wild pollinators were declining before the widespread use of neonicotinoids, with habitat change and honeybee disease thought to be particularly important causes.
  • A series of experiments have raised the possibility that widespread neonicotinoid use may exacerbate pollinator decline, though other studies find fewer effects of the insecticide.
  • The EU has banned the use of three types of neonicotinoids on crops attractive to bees for a minimum of two years.

Read about the UK Government's current position on neonicotinoids on the Defra website.