EU to ban all bee-harming pesticides

EU to ban all bee-harming pesticides
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The European Union on Friday agreed to permanently ban nearly all pesticides that cause harm to bees.

Member nations approved a ban on the use of three major neonicotinoids outdoors, The Guardian reports.  They can still be used in closed greenhouses.

The new rule builds on existing restrictions, and will likely go into full effect by the end of 2018. 

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A number of studies in recent years have concluded that neonicotinoid chemicals —  which are often used on seeds and can later appear in pollen — are harmful to bees and other insects that help pollinate most crops.

A study published by the European Food and Safety Authority earlier this year confirmed that the pesticides are harmful to both wild bees and honeybees. 

In the United States in 2016, a report supported by the Department of Agriculture revealed that between April 2015 and April 2016 beekeepers lost nearly half of their colonies, or 44 percent of their bees.