by Thomas Deane, Trinity College Dublin
Researchers from Trinity and Dublin City University found that Irish honey contained residues of neonicotinoid insecticides.
Neonicotinoids are the most widely used group of insecticides globally, used in plant protection products to control harmful insects.
Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides. Unlike contact pesticides, which remain on the surface of the treated parts of plants (e.g. leaves), systemic pesticides are taken up by the plant and transported throughout its leaves, flowers, roots and stems, as well as incorporated into pollen and nectar.
In the European Union, their use is now restricted due to concerns about risks to bees and other non-target organisms. At the time of sampling for this study, their use was still approved in Ireland for certain agricultural crops.