Bayer says ‘neonics’ are essential

A leading ag chemical company that is making a big investment in bee health and safety says it will not be moving away from a class of pesticides that some say is causing unnecessary bee deaths.

“We believe that neonics are an essential tool for growers – in the Midwest but across the U.S. and other parts of the world.  And so we do not want to see that chemistry going away. We think there would be extreme consequences on the ability of growers to grow their crops in the future if those chemistries were no longer available,” says Dr. Adrian Percy, Bayer CropScience Global Head of Research and Development. He tells Brownfield Ag News his company is working to make sure those products containing ‘neonics’ (neonicotinoids) are being used properly. He says, “We are absolutely that when they are used in a responsible manner, according to label instructions, they are perfectly safe to pollinators.” Percy says those products have been extensively tested.

The Varroa mite, which feeds on the blood of bees and carries viral diseases, is considered by most scientists to be the leading cause of bee colony losses in North America and Europe. Officials at Bayer’s Bee Health Center in Germany expect approval in a few years of their “Varroa Gate” product that would expose varroa mites to deadly substances as bees enter hives but would be safe for bees.


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