The Impact of Pesticides on Bee Health

The Biochemical Society, the Society for Experimental Biology and the British Ecological Society are delighted to announce their third joint scientific conference.

An important challenge facing the future of humanity is food security. This resource is heavily supported by the actions of insect pollinators and attacked by insect crop pests. Agrochemical intensification has reduced the amount of natural forage and breeding/nesting sites for insects and simultaneously providing large bonanzas in the form crops. Therefore, it is currently necessary to fight the battle against pest species using insecticides. This approach is a double-edged sword with both insect pests and pollinators being vulnerable. This conference will discuss whether the key insecticides being used in this battle have an overall negative impact on bees, and so food security.

The conference will focus on the scientific evidence on the risks of the cholinergic pesticides, in particular the neonicotinoids, to both honeybees and bumblebees. Evidence will be presented from research laboratories from academia, government and industry to discuss the current scientific evidence, knowledge gaps and future directions.

The following aspects of this issue will be addressed:

Environmental levels of neonicotinoids
The basic receptor biology of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and how these influence neuronal and brain function
Individual acute bee toxicity and chronic dysfunction in bee learning
Whole colony performance of bees
Field studies on the need and safety of neonicotinoids on bees
Additive and synergistic interactions between pesticides and disease
Bee detoxification pathways

This conference will have great international interest for scientists, politicians, environmental campaigning organizations and the media. Additional opportunities for short talks (selected from the abstracts) and posters will be available and early career researchers are encouraged to submit abstracts. To maximise the impact of this symposium, an open scientific discussion will follow the talks and precede an opportunity for the media and stakeholders to ask questions of the scientific audience in order that the science can directly inform the media and policy.
+ show speakers and program
Chris Cutler (Dalhousie University, Canada)
Dave Goulson (University of Sussex, UK)
Frederic Delbac (Universite Blaise Pascal-Clermont-Ferrand, France)
Galen Dively (University of Maryland, USA)
Geraldine Wright (Newcastle University, UK)
James Cresswell (University of Bristol, UK)
Jeroen van der Sluijs (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
Luc Belzunces (Université d'Avignon, France)
May Berenbaum (University of Illinois, USA)
Nigel Raine (University of London, UK)
Richard Schmuck (Bayer CropScience, Germany)
Yves Le Conte (French National Institute for Agricultural Research, France)

22 Jan - 24 Jan 2014
United Kingdom
meeting website