Neonicotinoids study AMA

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Professor Richard Pywell, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology UK has completed the largest ever field experiment on the impacts of neonicotinoids, a group of insecticides, on the honeybee and two wild bee species. Richard answered your questions at a Reddit AMA on Monday 10th July 2017. 

Richard is on our plant science panel. Previous AMAs with Professor Sarah O’ Connor and Professor Christine Raines on medicine from plants and GM wheat were also hugely popular, with hundreds of questions asked and answered. The AMA will start at 5pm (GMT) but feel free to submit questions in advance.

Here’s Richard's introduction to the AMA:

Hi Reddit!

I’m Richard Pywell, professor at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the UK and I’ve just completed the largest ever field experiment on the impacts of neonicotinoids on the honeybee and two wild bee species.

Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides that can be used as seed coatings to protect crops like oilseed rape (also known as canola), but were banned by the EU in 2013 because of concerns about their impact on bees.

We let bees forage on winter oilseed rape crops treated with neonicotinoids seed coatings on farms in the UK, Germany and Hungary over an area the size of 3,000 soccer pitches. You can read the peer-reviewed paper published in Science here.

I am on the Sense about Science Plant Science Panel, where anyone can ask a question and get an answer from a scientist. The Panel is made up of over 50 independent plant science researchers. You can ask questions to them on Twitter (@senseaboutsci #plantsci) or Facebook. Answers are sent back within a couple of days and posted online. The Panel has answered over 400 questions during the last five years and it’s a great way to cut through the noise around what can sometimes be a really polarised debate.

Read all the AMA questions and answers.

Published: 3 July 2017