Environmentalists gathered in Thailand for the first Cites wildlife protection conference for three years will be worrying about the glamorous threatened species – the Sumatran rhino and the stubfoot toad. Protection of biodiversity begins closer to home. In Britain, the numbers of pollinators, which include not just honeybees but the thousands of insects that visit flowering plants, are in sharp decline. There is growing evidence that one particular group of pesticides,neonicotinoids, is damaging the viability of insect colonies that are the guarantors of food security. But an outright ban could reduce crops such as oilseed rape by up to 25%. Without restrictions, however, pollinators might decline to catastrophic levels. Food security now or food security later?