Since neonicotinoid pesticides were introduced in 1992, 10 million honey-bee colonies have died globally.

Bumblebee and bird populations have crashed in every country where "neonics" are used. Researchers at Stirling University fed bumblebees minute doses of neonicotinoids. The colonies produced 85% fewer queens than usual. Professor Dave Goulson said: " Only queens survive the winter, so reducing their number by 85% means far fewer colonies next year - the long-term effects are likely to be profound."

The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust recently appointed Professor Michael Usher as its chairman. Horticulture Week reported: "Professor Usher said that neonicotinoids, implicated in bee deaths, should continue to be used as insecticides. The former SNH chief scientist argued that neonicotinoids have a place in crop protection, despite damning research released this spring from Stirling University."

Prof Usher was quoted as saying: "We need pollinators but we need our crops too."

The Trust itself seems confused; the pesticide issue is not mentioned on its website, even though Prof Goulson was the trust's founder. The impact of neonicotinoids on bees, birds and wildlife is catastrophic; we are facing ecological Armageddon. Usher must resign, or be sacked; if not, the Trust will be dismissed as mere "greenwash". The trustees must encourage staff to actively campaign against these pesticides. If they don't, the Trust may find its membership sliding to extinction faster than the bumblebees.

Graham White, Friends of the Bees

Philip Chandler, Friends of the Bees

Dr Rosemary Mason, life member, BBCT

Palle Uhd Jepsen, past adviser on nature conservation to the Danish Government and life member, BBCT