Honey bee on rapeseed

Big win: EU bans bee-harming neonics on all outdoor crops 

Fantastic news as countries across the European Union – including the UK – vote to ban the outdoor use of 3 bee-harming pesticides.
  Published:  27 Apr 2018    |      1 minute read

It's a massive win for every one of our supporters who joined in with our campaign to keep bees safe from these chemicals.

Friends of the Earth has been campaigning for tougher restrictions on neonicotinoids for a number of years.

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. The move follows mounting scientific evidence of the threat these pesticides pose to our bees and other wildlife. In February, a landmark science review by the European Food Safety Authority concluded that most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides represent a risk to wild bees and honey bees.

“This is a major victory for science, common sense and our under-threat bees.  The evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides pose a threat to our bees is overwhelming."
Emi Murphy, Friends of the Earth Bees Campaigner

Bee-friendly farming

It’s great news that Michael Gove listened to the experts and backed the ban – he must now give farmers the support they need to grow food without bee-harming pesticides.

Farmers across the UK are already successfully growing crops without neonicotinoid chemicals.


"Bees are crucial for farming, which is why I support a tougher ban on these chemicals.

I haven’t used neonicotinoids for years – and I haven’t seen a reduction in my crop yields due to pest damage."

Peter Lundgren, Arable farmer, Lincolnshire

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

This EU ban represents a historic turning point for the welfare of bees and pollinators. But there's still a long way to go before their future is safe. 

Neonicotinoids are not the only threat bees face – ministers must urgently step up efforts to boost nature, protect wildlife-friendly habitats and tackle over-reliance on pesticides in their post-Brexit farming policy.

You can help too. Sign up today to take part in the Great British Bee Count.