Researchers reported in the journal Science this week that tests for five neonicotinoid compounds found at least one in 75% of honey samples from 198 sites around the world.
For this study, he focused on a single type of molecule in trichomes – acyl sugars. The secrets Last and a team of MSU scientists found from studying these specialized metabolites open an evolutionary window for the emerging field of plant defence metabolism, insights that could lead to engineering advances for better pest resistance and human medicine.
Warwick University‘s School of Life Sciences is a partner in a new £1.4M 4-year project ‘SCEPTREplus’ funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). The aim of the project is to deliver applied research on high priority disease, pest and weed problems in fresh produce and ornamental crops in order to support approval of products and devise and develop IPM programmes. The project consortium is chaired by Ed Moorhouse (Agri-Food Solutions Director) and includes RSK ADAS, NIAB EMR and Stockbridge Technology Centre.
Maintaining production of many UK crops is at risk if neonicotinoids, the pesticides linked with harming bees, are more widely restricted or banned completely, says Rothamsted Research in a position statement published today.
“Furthermore, if groups of chemistries are limited by legislation, the remaining groups will be more widely used, resulting in an increased risk of pests developing resistance to them,” continues the statement from Rothamsted, the longest-running agricultural research institute in the world.
According to recent media reports the European Commission seems poised to ban some of Europe’s most widely used pesticides to protect bees and other pollinators, but is the move likely to have an impact on food production and security? Scientists at the James Hutton Institute have demonstrated that many farmers can reduce agrochemical inputs by using alternative pest control methods without reducing yield or quality.