Researches found 75 % of honey sampled from around the world contained neonicotinoid pesticides, a commonly used pesticide that many scientists say is harmful to honeybees. Neonicotinoids have been found to be toxic to bees and have been identified as one of the factors linked to the widespread decline of honeybee colonies.
Researchers found the level of contamination highest in North America at 86 %, followed by Asia at 80 %, Europe 79% and lowest in South America 57%.
The study, published in the journal Science, found neonicotinoids in 75 per cent of honey samples collected between 2012 and 2016 at levels known to be neuroactive in bees, meaning they can affect the insects’ cognitive function.
One of the reasons this group of pesticides is used so widely, according to the pesticide industry, is while the chemicals are extremely toxic to insects, they are not considered harmful to mammals.
Health Canada is studying whether to ban a particular type of neonicitinoid pesticide that is especially harmful to aquatic insects. A final decision is expected in December 2018.
Some Parts of the country have already started phasing out the use of the pesticide group, including Ontario. Vancouver and Montreal have banned the chemical within city limits.