Growers, farmers and bee-keepers must not allow the anti-chemicals' lobby to divert research from the key causes of decline, they said
Dominic Dyer, chief executive of the Crop Protection Association, told the British Bee Keepers Association that campaigners had demonised pesticides. "There is no evidence to indicate that, if used correctly, they are a key factor behind bee decline," he said.
"Most experts agree it is down to the Varroa mite and other parasitic diseases combined with habitat loss, colony stress and climate change."
Bans of insecticide seed treatments would not make bees healthier but thwart sustainable crop-protection technology vital for food production, he said.