Blogging on neonics

Here is a really interesting recent blog by Dave Goulson on the neonic moratorium in the UK and a critique of the positions of the various interested parties.

http://splash.sussex.ac.uk/blog/for/dg229/2016/10/14/will-the-uk-retain-the-neonicotinoid-moratorium-postbrexit

Our own second neonicotinoid paper is now out online at Ecological Entomology – again we show that sub-lethal exposure to field-realistic doses of imidacloprid disrupts facultative sex allocation behaviour, this time in the context of super-parasitism. Sex allocation is an important behaviour for parasitic wasps (which give us plenty of “ecosystem services” for free, by killing pest arthropods when we are not looking), and we need to expand our understanding of how chemical exposure disrupts the biology of the natural world we so (unwittingly) rely on. Our paper (open-access) can be found here.

The work on neonicotinoids has been interesting, both intellectually, but also in terms of the rubbing up against various vested interests. It has been a new departure for me, and I am not completely sure what to make of it yet. Still, there are more experiments in the pipeline, and that is the fun bit…