The dwindling bee population is as prominent a conversation as ever, so it’s no surprise to see the recent headlines concerning the controversial re-introduction of nicotine-like pesticides in the UK last week.

Neonicotinoids, a nerve agent which scientists have found causes serious damage to bees, is the world's most widely-used insecticide. But with strong concerns from farmers, who have said neonicotinoids are required to grow oil seed rape, an application was put forward for an emergency lifting of the ban on two types of the pesticide. It has been reported that the UK government has gagged its own advisers over their opposition to a proposal from the National Farmers Union.

In the week previous, on the other side of the Atlantic, Ontario became the first place in North America to introduce restrictions on the use of Neonicotinoids. On July 1, 2015, new regulatory requirements for the sale and use of neonicotinoid-treated seeds in Ontario will come into effect and be phased in over a period of time. Reducing neonicotinoid use in these two crops presents the greatest opportunity to decrease pollinator exposure to the neurotoxic insecticide.

An interactive map, designed by Fairmont Hotels, shows where in the world certain pesticides – including neonics – are currently legal, with the developing world clearly less likely to have introduced stringent environmental regulations. The map features, as a part of an informative article on the importance of bees, the reasons they’re declining and what’s being done to help, which is summarised in the infographic below.

It’s thought that Neonicotinoids are not the only potential threat to the bee population, with recent speculation also pointing the finger at climate change and parasites.

To learn more about what you can do at home to help the bees please check out the video at the end of the Fairmont Hotels article that shows how you can make your own garden bee house.

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