The European Commission will restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths by researchers, despite a split among EU states on the issue, reports the BBC.
Fifteen countries voted in favour of a ban today (April 29) – not enough to form a qualified majority. According to EU rules the Commission will now impose a two-year restriction on neonicotinoids – and the UK cannot opt out.
The Commission says it wants the moratorium to begin no later than 1 July this year.
The UK did not support a ban – it argues that the science behind the proposal is inconclusive. It was among eight countries that voted against, while four abstained.
Wild species such as honey bees are said by researchers to be responsible for pollinating around one-third of the world’s crop production.
There is heated debate about what has triggered the widespread decline in bee populations. Besides chemicals, many experts point to the parasitic varroa mite, viruses that attack bees and neglect of hives.