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Pesticides stop bees buzzing and releasing pollen, says study

A bumblebee in flight towards the purple flower of bittersweet nightshade. Photograph: Andi Edwards/Alamy

Published on The Guardian website on the 13th December 2016

Story by Damian Carrington

 

The world’s most widely used insecticides harm the ability of bees to vibrate flowers and shake out the pollen to fertilise crops, according to preliminary results from a new study.

Some flowers, such as those of crops like tomatoes and potatoes, must be shaken to release pollen and bumblebees are particularly good at creating the buzz needed to do this. But the research shows that bumblebees exposed to realistic levels of a neonicotinoid pesticide fail to learn how to create the greatest buzz and collect less pollen as a result.

The research is consistent with previous work that has shown neonicotinoid pesticides reduce learning and memory in bees. A moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoids on flowering crops was put in place in Europe in 2013 and will be reviewed next year.

Continue reading Pesticides stop bees buzzing and releasing pollen, says study

Firm ‘has broken its promise’ on chemicals

Markwells Wood

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 9th December 2016

Story by: Tamara Siddiqui

 

AN OIL company has been criticised for not disclosing information about chemicals despite a promise to do so over the summer.

UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) is proposing to drill for oil in Markwells Wood, Forestside, which is within the South Downs National Park.

Markwells Wood sits atop the aquifer which feeds Portsmouth, and residents and groups are worried about the risk of pollution to drinking water. Also affected could be the Havant and Bedhampton Springs public water supply.

Portsmouth Water objected to the plans earlier this year.

Continue reading Firm ‘has broken its promise’ on chemicals

Council meeting will decide fate of housing

From left, Emsworth Residents Association chairwoman Jo Dyer, Andrew Norton from Warblington Residents Association and Denvilles Residents Association, MP George Hollingbery, alliance chairwoman Ann Buckley and Charles Ash, the planning spokesman for the alliance

From left, Emsworth Residents Association chairwoman Jo Dyer, Andrew Norton from Warblington Residents Association and Denvilles Residents Association, MP George Hollingbery, alliance chairwoman Ann Buckley and Charles Ash, the planning spokesman for the alliance

Published in the Portsmouth News on the 6th December 2016

 

A CRUNCH meeting will take place tomorrow at which councillors will decide whether 11,300 new homes will be built across Havant and Waterlooville in the next 20 years.

The Local Plan, which sets out a blueprint for development across the borough, will be debated at Havant Borough Council’s full council meeting.

Following a meeting with Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery in which they voiced their concerns, representatives from the Havant Borough Residents Alliance said they believe the plans are not good enough, as they do not provide enough affordable homes, nor give sufficient protection to green field sites.

There is fierce opposition to proposals to allow houses to be built in areas like Hayling, Purbrook, and in the Emsworth gap. Group chairwoman Ann Buckley said: ‘The council says it has left no stone unturned but still hasn’t found enough building land to meet its own numbers.

Continue reading Council meeting will decide fate of housing