Bees, pesticides and the future of farming
- a presentation by Prof. Dave Goulson

In this excellent talk, Prof Goulson draws on a range of research to present a broad overview of the the potential scope and risks posed by the use of insecticides - especially neonicotinoids.

He also counters some of the flawed criticisms used by the agrochemicals industry as they have tried to play down the significance of independent research findings.

Importantly, he also outlines research which clearly suggests that insecticides may not even offer the commercial and crop yield benefits farmers would hope for, and that farmers are badly advised.  (You can read more about this issue - What's the point of neonicotinoids? and - a subject I have a 'bee in my bonnet' about - it's high time farmers had independent information on crop pest threats (also see Insectides: Costly for farmers and harmful to pollinators).

The information presented in the video is very easy to understand: Professor Goulson has an excellent talent for presenting complex concepts and information in a manner that is easy for non-scientists to grasp.

I completely agree with Prof Goulson on the point that farmers should be supported in a way that helps them to farm more sympathetically with wildlife in mind, and that we need to look again at how we distribute tax payer money in the form of subsidies.

Professor Goulson is the author of Bumblebee Behaviour and Ecology - which is available from or

Prof Goulson studied Biology at Oxford University, and then did a PhD on butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University.

Shortly afterwards he got a lectureship at the University of Southampton, where he stayed for 11 years. It was there that he began to specialize in bumblebee ecology and conservation.

In 2006 he became Professor of Biology and Stirling University.  In 2006 he also founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a charity devoted to reversing bumblebee declines. In 2013 he moved to Sussex University.

Further reading:

Farmers can be part of the SolutionTo Help Bees, Pollinators And The Environment After Brexit

and A Strategy For Pollinators

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