For every jar of honey produced, bees have to fly fifty thousand miles and collect nectar from around four million flowers. And it’s on these journeys that bees are in danger of picking up deadly pesticides.
Neonicotinoids pesticide powder is spread onto crop seeds like sunflowers. The risk to bees occurs when it flies to the flowering crop to collect the contaminated pollen.
The bee subsequently absorbs the neonicotinoids and as recent evidence suggests, loses its way and dies.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, the decline in the bee population can be linked with the on-going use of neonicotiniods pesticides.
The European Commission is proposing to temporarily restrict some of the neonicotinoid pesticides. France, Germany and Spain is said to support the move, but the UK wants to wait for more scientific studies.
According to the Department for Food and Rural Affairs, any decision made about neonicotiniods should be based on scientific evidence and the Government is currently waiting on results of field studies carried out by the Food and Environment Research Agency, FERA.
Meanwhile Environmental groups are battling with international chemical companies for the use of the pesticides to be banned.
Dr David Gibbon is from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds who is pledging their support of the ban.
"The RSPB has been concerned about the impact of neonicotinoids for some time and the evidence has risen dramatically on the negative effects on bumble bees which get intoxicated by these pesticides and literally lose their way and die".
Keith Tyrell is the director of pesticide action network UK, and explains the effect neonicotinoids are having on bees: "These pesticides are a new class of pesticides and since they’ve been introduced we’ve seen a massive collapse of the population of bees around the world".
Keith Tyrell says the UK must pay attention to the mounting evidence against the pesticides and not delay in supporting the ban.
"I’m amazed Owen Patterson is taking this stance as the evidence is really mounting up".
According to the British Bee Keeping Association around 70% of British crops are dependent on bees. It was once said that if bees disappeared off the face of the earth, man would have only four years to live.
EU Member States are set to debate the use of neonicotinoids and vote on whether the pesticides should be temporarily restricted or not on the 15th March to help bees survive.