The Scottish Wildlife Trust is calling on the Scottish Government to halt the use by farmers of neurotoxic chemicals that threaten to wipe out bees.
The latest research into neonicotinoids indicates that their continued use could have a catastrophic effect on insect pollinators, particularly threatening Scotland’s fruit growing industry.
Insects that feed on contaminated pollen and nectar including honeybees and bumblebees lose the ability to navigate efficiently and may not make it back to their colonies.
Insect pollinators form a vital part of the food chain for wildlife including birds, amphibians and reptiles. If numbers are dramatically reduced, a wide range of species and natural processes could be under threat.
The latest research, published in Science, goes against the UK Government’s conclusion that this group of insecticides do not threaten bee populations.
The UK Government’s stance - to continue the use of these chemicals - is also the position which is currently adopted by the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government do have the power to unilaterally ban the chemicals in Scotland.