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The EU bans popular pesticides from fields to rescue bee colonies

The European Union is taking drastic steps to protect the world's bee population and will ban the most widely used pesticides by the end of the year. The ban applies to open fields but not closed greenhouses. The move follows many studies that suggest that these pesticides contribute to a dramatic decline in bee populations, a problem that threatens global crops.

The restriction applies to pesticides known as neonicotinoids: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. The EU recalls a recent scientific review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which found that most neonicotinoids are harmful to bee populations.

This is not the first time that Europe is targeting pesticides as a means of saving bees. Already in the summer of 201

3, the European Union announced a restriction to an insecticide called fipronil. This restriction was similarly followed by a review by EFSA, which found that the compound is harmful to honey bees.

Announcing its new restriction, the EU said: "The use of the three substances outdoors is banned and the neonicotinoids in question are allowed only in permanent greenhouses where no contact with bees is expected." The Guardian reports that the ban will come into effect within six months.

Neonicotinoids are present in both honeybees and wild bees at high risk when used outdoors. This is partly due to the presence of the compound in water and soil, which causes the substance to appear in plants and flowers. Of course, this problem is not confined to the EU. Neonicotinoids are used all over the world, and the same problems exist worldwide.

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