The European Commission is proposing new restrictions on certain classes of pesticide that are believed to be harmful to bees.
Commissioner Tonio Borg has tabled a discussion paper that asks EU members to restrict the use of neonicotinoids to crops not attractive to bees and to prohibit the sale and use of seeds treated with products that contain the active substances.
The BBC reports three pesticides would be affected: clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam.
Farmers would be banned from using them with sunflowers, oilseed rape, cotton and maize.
The Commission wants restrictions in place by July and the measures will be reviewed after two years. Bans are already in place in France, Germany and Slovenia.