Neonics have been in popular use since the 90's and increasing every year. If the use of them was hurting yield (it isn't) farmers would have noticed by now. They're using them because it increases yield in a cost effective manner and it's not a simple story.
Neonics are useful because they're deliverable in powder form, you can coat a seed with it, and it'll protect the seed from insects while germinating. After that the plant will take up the chemical to provide some systemic activity for a period of time. This helps the young plants get established. After about 30 days they're gone and not doing anything.
They started being used in the 90's for field farming because you could seed at a lower rate, but seed is, generally, very cheap so it wasn't too common. Pumpkins? Sure. Corn? No way -- too cheap of seed. When GMO corn, soy, cotton, etc came along THEN you saw a big uptick in neonics as it was now beneficial to protect those seeds as the GMO crops were fairly expensive seed.
Apiaries (bee keepers) might be taking a bit of hit but that's just part of dropping your bees off at a farm where a simple mistake can kill most of them. One entymologist I've heard speak on this pointed out a farm that killed a bunch of rented bees with vegetable oil... and yes vegetable oil is an insecticide. Another killed a bunch with RoundUp, an herbicide, but too much will kill a bee. Pretty much anything will kill a bee. The fact that neonics aren't terribly fatal to them is amazing, and public resistance to them confounds me and generally every other guy that's donned a chem suit and went to town on bugs. The alternatives are generally horrible to bees. Push back on neonics is going to result in more pyrethroids, carbamates and organophosphates. Every single one is toxic to bees, horribly so, and carbamates and organophosphates are bad news for humans.