Counting on …. Day 1.097

11th April 2023

As we celebrate the new life of the resurrection, here is a petition calling for life for our bee population.

Quotes from supporters of the petition:-


Professor Dave Goulson – Scientist, Author and Founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

“For three years in a row our government has granted farmers special permission to use banned neonicotinoid pesticides on sugar beet. This is contrary to the expert advice of their own Expert Committee on Pesticides, who specifically recommended that permission should not be granted.  It also flies in the face of a huge body of scientific evidence showing that these chemicals are phenomenally toxic to all insect life, and that their use on any crop contaminates soils, hedgerow plants, and nearby streams and ponds for years to come. We are in a crisis, with insect populations in freefall. It is about time our government woke up to this, and acted accordingly. This petition is a necessary means of holding the government to account. Please sign and share as signing will ensure the issue is debated in Parliament.”


Rev Professor Jasper Kenter, Aberystwyth Business School, Aberystwyth University 

“The repeated lifting of a ban on extremely harmful neonicotinoid pesticides by the UK Government is doing untold damage to insects in the UK. It is short-sighted and not backed by evidence. The ecological, economic, and cultural value of protecting insect population is far greater than any short-term profits from allowing these pesticides. By signing this petition, we can force a debate on this issue and make sure these pesticides are banned again next year.”


Dr. George McGavin. Entomologist, TV Presenter, Author, President of the Dorset Wildlife Trust and Senior Principal Research Fellow, Imperial College.

Neonicotinoids are not a disaster waiting to happen – the disaster is already unfolding. These potent nerve poisons are extremely toxic to all manner of invertebrates and are water soluble – they get everywhere polluting soil, ground water and rivers. These chemicals, often used prophylactically as seed treatments, go on to make every part of the plant toxic. Neonicotinoids generate very large profits for the companies who manufacture and distribute them but they do enormous environmental harm and their use must stop.


Globally 15% of crops are lost to ‘pests’ but the FAO tells us that 33% of all food grown is wasted. We need to get smarter – there other ways of protecting crops than poisoning the entire countryside.    

Dose for dose neonicotinoids can be hundreds, even thousands of times more toxic to bees than DDT 

Counting on …day 111

3rd March 2022 

Bees or sugar? Warmer winters, a result of climate change, encourages aphids to thrive. Aphids can spread yellow virus that can damage sugar beet crops. Where sugar beet is not grown organically (which would be the better option for our own health and that of the soil) farmers can choose to spray their crops with pesticides. This year British Sugar has again been granted  permission to spray sugar beet with Cruiser SB, a neonicotinoid that is known to be harmful to bees and which is banned in Europe. Is the loss of some of the sugar beet crop, sufficient reason to knowingly harm bees and other insects, as well as polluting rivers and damaging the soil? 

The better option would be to reintroduce organic production of sugar beet here in the UK, using methods such as ‘crop selection, crop rotation, fertility build, inter-cropping, establishing insect predator habitat’ 

See also

Count Down

 Action 12: The COP26 climate conference will also be addressing the issues declining biodiversity. Those of us with gardens can be part of the solution. Bee numbers have fallen by an average of 7% in the last ten years, part of an ongoing decline. Europe wide 1 in 10 wild bee species are facing extinction. Grow bee friendly plants. Ensure accessible fresh water. Provide places where bee can overwinter or shelter – varying from areas of long grass to purpose made bee hotels. The following web site is useful: