The Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations FIBKA

A Backward Step in Pesticide Regulation


In early July I sent the mail below. It now appears that this is going forward to the European Parliament, so it’s really important that all beekeepers contact their MEP to get them to reject the absurd idea that the agrichemical companies should police themselves! The scientific and Food Safety Agency recommendation is to have testing done by an independent body. Please forward this to your members, and encourage them to talk to their MEP (you can find your MEP at

POLLINIS, the European group fighting to save bees and all pollinators have advised that there is a vote coming up in the EU to change the regulations for approval of pesticides for use on crops. Previously, the use of chemicals such as neonicotinoids had been banned, in part because their non-lethal colony damaging effects were not investigated prior to their approval. In short, evidence indicates that insects may not be killed outright by the pesticide levels they absorb during foraging however it can adversely alter their behaviour such that they don’t function fully or, by passing it on to their brood where it accumulates in the larvae at higher dosages, it either kills the larvae or results in their abnormal growth.

A pesticide approval protocol has been recommended by pollinator researchers and the European Food Safety Agency for the last 5 years. This requires testing for the effects of new pesticides on bee larvae and forager behaviour by an independent body prior to use in the field. Despite this, an amendment to the EU law is due to pass which leaves control of testing in the hands of the agrichemical companies and only insists that they conduct field tests on larvae if an issue becomes obvious.

The EU are open for an online public consultation on this matter until this coming 11th of July. If you value our bees and/or all pollinators you can follow the following links to get informed and have your say on the matter.

Link to EU commission on Principles for evaluation and authorisation of pesticides

Please forward this to your members and encourage them to comment – the more feedback they receive, the better chance that they will follow the recommended approach.


Brendan Murray


Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations

Phone: 041-9826957