Tue, 25 October 2011
Termites are not so different to bees in many ways: both are social insects that live in large colonies and have several castes. Both use grooming as a first-line defence against potentially damaging diseases.
Bayer sells a pestide called Premise that kills termites, which they market on the strength of its ability to interfere with the termites' grooming process. The active ingredient is Imidacloprid, and yet they claim never to have tested it on bees to see if it has a similar effect. Some would say that this a a significant oversight, while others might suggest that it is evidence of Bayer's usual habit of being 'economical with the truth'.
Whatever we think about this, there is no statutory requirement for Bayer to conduct such research.
You can read Bayer's Premise leaflet here http://www.elitepest.com.sg/brochure/Premise_200SC.pdf
See http://tinyurl.com/6a7wa9z for an article about this issue in the Independent newspaper.
Amanda Williams worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years, and now campaigns on behalf of bees, giving talks in schools and running an informative web site www.buzzaboutbees.net
Also in this edition, we launch Bee-Friendly Zones - see www.beefriendlyzone.com