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Beekeepers stage protest

Beekeepers gathered in Parliament Square today to urge the Government to support an EU-wide ban on certain pesticides. They were joined by campaigners Vivienne Westwood and Katharine Hamnett.

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MPs urge pesticide ban over bees

Ministers have been accused of taking an "extraordinarily complacent approach" to protecting bees and insects from pesticides which are blamed for their numbers declining, MPs have said.

The parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee said the weight of evidence now warranted precautionary action to protect insects such as bees, moths, butterflies and hoverflies, many of which are suffering declines in numbers in the UK.

Pesticides are killing bees at an alarming rate, MPs have said Credit: PA

Concerns have been raised over possible damage to bees from exposure to neonicotinoids, with research suggesting immediate or long-term effects on bee colony survival and development, and disruption to foraging behaviour.

A moratorium on use of three neonicotinoid pesticides on crops such as oil seed rape which bees feed on should be introduced by the beginning of 2014, a report by the committee said.

And their use in private gardens and places such as golf courses should be banned immediately to create "an urban safe haven for bees".

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