This report from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority was released last week. In my opinion it is a very well considered and comprehensive document, very relevant and comparable to our own situation, and one you should read if you intend to maintain a well informed view about the subject. Here are some excerpts that summarise what it is about.
•summarises information about honeybee health in Australia and overseas, including the wide range of threats to bees (including bee pests and diseases)
•provides information about what the neonicotinoids are and how they are used
•considers their likely risks to insect pollinators in Australia, on a crop-by-crop basis
•considers their risks in relation to other pesticides
•provides a list of information sources for growers and beekeepers about pollinator protection.
On the basis of information available to it, the APVMA is currently of the view that the introduction of the neonicotinoids has led to an overall reduction in the risks to the agricultural environment from the application of insecticides. This view is also balanced with the advice that Australian honeybee populations are not in decline, despite the increased use of this group of insecticides in agriculture and horticulture since the mid-1990s."