Studies carried out in France with respect to the bee populations here indicate that, as of lately, the number of bee hives to be found throughout the country's territory has been steadily decreasing. Apparently, this is due to the intense usage of the Cruiser OSR insecticide.
France's National Agency for Food, Safety and the Environment backs up the idea that neonicotinoid pesticides (i.e. a class of insecticides that are chemically related to nicotine and that act on the insects' nervous system) are likely to take their toll on the bee colonies close to the areas where they are being used.
explains, even if they are not instantly killed by these chemical compounds, the bees lose their navigating skills and therefore can no longer return to their hives after a hard day's work.
With more and more bees not being able to make it back home, the hive naturally self-destructs, something known as the Colony Collapse Disorder.
Apparently, the Cruiser OSR, a flowable concentrate used to treat plant seeds, takes the lead when it comes to messing up bees. Thus, the French government announced its plans to ban it from ever being used again.
Sygenta, the company producing the Cruiser OSR, argues that their product has nothing to do with the bees' losing their navigating abilities. Not taking their words for granted, the French officials informed Sygenta that they have two weeks to prove that this is indeed the case.
Should they fail to comply with this request, France plans on having the pesticide banned throughout the entire European Union.
Naturally, the reasons behind France's decision to go all the way in order to save its bees are by no means purely environmental or disinterested.
Quite the contrary: besides producing honey and beeswax, these insects significantly contribute to the country's agriculture, as they spend most of their time pollinating crops.
Their importance for a nation's economy can very well be emphasized by referring to the UK's 1980 Bees Act, whose main purpose was that of making sure that the British population of bees was healthy and ready to offer its support to agriculture.