Honey bee on rapeseed

Big news: Europe bans bee-harming neonics on all outdoor crops 

Fantastic news: the European Commission has voted to ban the use of 3 bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides on outdoor crops – including garden plants.
11 Dec 2017     |       3 minute read

It’s a ban we’ve been campaigning hard for here at Friends of the Earth, for the sake of our precious bees and other pollinators.

A science-based ban

We’re delighted that both the UK government and the EU have shown they’re listening to the science – and to the majority of public opinion

As our chief executive Craig Bennett points out:

“This comprehensive ban on three bee-harming neonicotinoids is fantastic news - these pesticides pose a significant threat to our bees and the wider environment.

“We’re delighted that the UK government and EU member states have listened to the science. A major overhaul of the pesticide regulations is now needed to prevent harmful chemicals from gaining approval in future.

“The ban on these pesticides should go hand-in-hand with a bold government plan to help farmers deliver bee-friendly farming in the future - with less reliance on chemicals - and better protection and restoration of precious habitats.”


Bee-friendly gardening boost

Under the new EU regulations, garden plants will no longer be allowed to be grown with seeds treated with the 3 banned neonicotinoids. 

Craig Bennett sums up why that’s so important:

“It means green-minded gardeners will be able to plant bee-friendly flowers safe in the knowledge that they don’t contain these bee-harming chemicals.

“It’s also great news for those garden centres that have already told their growers not to use these pesticides – and the thousands of people who urged them to do so.”

After a long, well-supported campaign we were able to reveal this year that all of the UK’s top 10 leading garden centres had agreed to say no to using neonicotinoids for their flowering plants.

Watch and share the Bee Cause story

Since we launched the Bee Cause in 2012,  our supporters have achieved some incredible wins for bees. Watch and share our video to celebrate our story.

Bees still need your help

While this European ban represents a historic turning point for the welfare of bees and pollinators, there's still a long way to go before their future is safe. 

We need to understand more about Britain's bees, so that government and others can make well-informed decisions to help them thrive. You can help us learn more by joining the Great British Bee Count - sign up today.