Prof. Nigel Raine is making headlines this week with new research about the effect of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees. He co-authored a study published Tuesday night that shows long-term exposure to a neonicotinoid pesticide hampers bees’ ability to forage for pollen. The research involved fitting bumblebees with tiny radio frequency tags to monitor their day-to-day behaviour including pollen collection and which flowers worker bees chose to visit.
Articles about the research were published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and CBC’s online news page. Raine also appeared live on CTV’s 24-hour News Channel Tuesday night and on Canada AM and CBC radio Wednesday morning.
This week, the government of Ontario announced its intent to restrict the use of neonicotinoids. Raine, an environmental sciences professor who studies pollination ecology, was part of an international panel of scientists that released a paper in May calling for an evidence-based debate on the subject.
Raine joined U of G in the spring as the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway University of London. In the U.K., Raine was an adviser and expert witness for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology; the Advisory Committee on Pesticides; the Environment Audit Committee (a select committee of the U.K. Parliament); the National Action Plan for pesticides; and the Pollinator Conservation Delivery Group. He also provided advice to the European Food Safety Authority.