Over the last 10–15 years there has been a global debate about honeybee populations, and the short and long term effects of pesticides, and specifically neonicotinoids on them. Over time, many other influence factors over bee populations have been studied by scientists, including: diseases caused by viruses, parasites, and mites; poor nutrition; climate change; lack of genetic diversity and lineage; stress brought on by frequent transport of honey bee colonies; poor beekeeping management; and combinations of these factors.
More than one third of the world's crops depend on pollination, which means our business is reliant upon the pollination provided by bees and other pollinators. We conduct constant research on the environmental effects of our products, while helping beekeepers and farmers to maintain suitable areas for bee forage and beekeeping coexistence. Our Operation Pollinator program has helped boost the number of pollinating insects near farmland. It provides farmers with locally suited flower seed mixes and best practice advice to enable them to create bee friendly areas in field.
In March 2013 we launched a new action plan in partnership with Bayer CropScience that looks to identify the reasons behind the variation in bee populations across the EU. Through the action plan we reiterate our commitment to creating pollen rich field margins, establishing field monitoring programs that measure bee health, implementing measures to mitigate the exposure risk to bees, investment in new technologies that reduce exposure risks during the planting of treated seeds, and further investment into the main factors impacting bee health, such as parasites and viruses.