The Lune de Miel® Foundation is campaigning to ban neonicotinoid insecticides

5 September, 2016

Hi Gordon

I have some honey I have to tell you about. I got it from m&s in the specialty foods section. I’ll get you a tub when I go back there if I can.

I keep going to the cupboard just to smell it and I’d describe the scent as exactly like the smell of the flowers it came from.

The website on the tub is

It’s lovely stuff.



Bees have existed for more than 80 million years. Yet since the 1990s, bee colonies have been subjected to increased chemical and biological stress that is putting them in danger: various types of atmospheric pollution, Asian hornets, bacterial and viral attacks, and the lack of balanced and accessible food supplies.

Although there may be many causes as to why a bee colony dies, field observations and various studies point to the toxicity of neonicotinoid insecticides, a class of neurotoxic insecticides used to treat seeds.

Banning neonicotinoids will help improve the health of bees and wild pollinators. For example, in Italy, where neonicotinoid insecticides for maize seed coating are banned, the observed mortality decreased from 37.5% in 2007-2008 to below the natural level of 15% in 2015.[1]

The ban on neonicotinoid insecticides will have no impact on agricultural yields. Indeed, since these insecticides entered the market, several reports and publications [2] have argued that the use of these molecules has not led to a significant increase in yields for farmers. Two years after the establishment of the European moratorium on three neonicotinoids, the 2014/2015 production figures in the European Union have not seen drastically reduced yields but record increases for oil seeds (rapeseed, sunflower, soya and flax).

In 2013, the European Commission decided to limit temporarily (for two years) the use of three neonicotinoid insecticides (thiamethoxam, imidacloprid, clothianidin), following a report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the risk of these insecticides to pollinators. This key decision is not enough, since other neonicotinoids that are highly dangerous to bees remain on the market.


Furthermore, European law allows a Member State to ban the use of plant protection products in line with the precautionary principle.

  Like 76% of French people,[3] the Lune de Miel® Foundation wants to ban the entire neonicotinoid family to prevent the industry from simply substituting in a similar product after a particular product has been withdrawn.

 From 10 May, the biodiversity bill – which provides for a ban on neonicotinoid insecticides – will be subject to a vote in the Senate (having been adopted at second reading by the National Assembly).


Let’s continue to fight for the complete and definitive ban on these insecticides that have such devastating consequences for our bees, pollinators, environment and ecosystem!

[1] Porrini C. et al. (2008). “Rete per il monitoraggio dei fenomeni di spopolamento e mortalità degli alveari in Italia (APENET)”. ApoideaApoidea, 5 (2), 83-87.

[2] Source: Center for Food Safety “Heavy Costs: weighing the value of neonicotinoid insecticides in Agriculture”, March 2014
[3] IFOP poll for Agir pour l’Environnement – 1er March 2016
“Projects supported by the Lune de Miel® Foundation in 2016

Projects supported by the Lune de Miel® Foundation in 2016

On Tuesday 8 March 2016, the Lune de Miel® Foundation held its fourth Executive Committee in Gan in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.

The Committee, chaired by Vincent Michaud, President of Famille Michaud Apiculteurs and in the presence of Bernard Saubot, Alice Gaboriau, Gilles Fert, Patrick Chaubart, and of Laetitia Bertholet via Skype video conference, and Xavier Denamur who had given power of proxy, chose 9 projects for the year 2016:

– Pasteur Secondary School (Pas-de-Calais department):

Project to raise awareness of sustainable development, in which the themes of bee and beekeeping will be developed in 2016. Increase in the number of hives and students taught about how to care for and manage hives. Actions to raise awareness of the importance of bees.

– Valérie Guieu – researcher at the University of Grenoble:

Funding request for the “bee health” project relating to the development of a new method for quantitatively analysing pesticides: development of an aptamer biosensor to detect and quantify neonicotinoid residue in the hive environment.

– CETAPI association – Bernard Bru (Maine-et-Loire department):

Assistance in funding releases of torymus insects, a predator of the oriental chestnut gall wasp which endangers chestnut trees and subsequently chestnut honey. These actions help preserve biodiversity.

– Educational hive in Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne (Ain department):

Project to improve hive management by developing a structure for the breeding of queens. Educational and awareness-raising actions for the general public and schools enabling people to discover the world of bees first-hand.

– ADAAQ – Thomas Mollet (Aquitaine):

Assistance in funding releases of torymus insects, a predator of the oriental chestnut gall wasp which endangers chestnut trees and subsequently chestnut honey. These actions help preserve biodiversity.

– Nerac Agricultural College– Catherine Girardet (Lot-et-Garonne department):

Project to develop beekeeping that is sustainable and compatible with field crops. Agricultural education actions.

– FNOSAD Association– Jean-Marie Barbancon:

Study project to ascertain varroa destructor’s level of sensitivity and resistance to amitraz.

– Clémence Riva – PhD student at the University of Caen:

PhD on the development of new anti-varroa treatments targeting one enzyme in particular, acetylcholinesterase, which plays a key role in the transmission of nerve signals. The aim is to find a treatment which is effective against the varroa and harmless for bees.

– Michel Sokolowski – INSERM laboratory at the University of Picardy:

Research project to measure the non-lethal effects of neonicotinoids on honey bees and bumblebees.


The Lune de Miel® Foundation fights each and every day so that bees and beekeeping survive in France.
The next Executive Committee meeting will consider new requests in September 2016.

“Vincent Michaud’s fight to save beekeeping in France The Lune de Miel® Foundation is campaigning to ban neonicotinoid insecticides”




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