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UK study suggests links between imidacloprid and bee health

While the prophylactic application of neonicotinoid insecticides as seed treatments helps reduce subsequent foliar insecticide sprays, there appears to be a link between bee colony mortality and high field exposure to imidacloprid, according to a study by researchers from the UK Food, Environment and Research Agency (FERA). The study’s observational data include colony health measures from 126,220 colonies over 11 years from 2000 to 2011 and predicted differences in colony mortality of 10% between low and high field exposure of imidacloprid. The researchers point out that that their data were not derived from a controlled experiment and so may have been influenced by confounding factors not accounted for in their models, such as honey bee pests.

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