The European Union has agreed to ban the world’s most widely used pesticides because of the harm scientists say they cause to bees. The ban on the insecticides known as neonicotinoids was jointly approved by the 28 member nations Friday and is expected to come into force within six months. It strengthens an existing EU ban on the use of neonicotinoids on flowering crops that attract bees such as oil seed rape. “Banning these toxic pesticides is a beacon of hope for bees,” said Antonia Staats, from activist group Avaaz. “Finally, our governments are listening to their citizens, the scientific evidence, and farmers who know that bees can’t live with these chemicals and we can’t live without bees.” After the ban is introduced, neonicotinoids will only be allowed to be used inside greenhouses.