[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (2)
    • Announcements (588)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (32)
    • Antimicrobial (11)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (28)
    • Bats (6)
    • Beneficials (44)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (28)
    • Biomonitoring (36)
    • Birds (19)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Children (76)
    • Children/Schools (232)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (13)
    • Climate Change (65)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (2)
    • Congress (1)
    • contamination (125)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (15)
    • Drift (4)
    • Drinking Water (3)
    • Ecosystem Services (5)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (145)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (382)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (11)
    • Farmworkers (165)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (3)
    • Fungicides (18)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (3)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (17)
    • Holidays (32)
    • Household Use (6)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Indoor Air Quality (2)
    • Infectious Disease (3)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (63)
    • Invasive Species (33)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (230)
    • Litigation (329)
    • Livestock (7)
    • Metabolites (3)
    • Microbiata (16)
    • Microbiome (19)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Native Americans (1)
    • Occupational Health (6)
    • Oceans (1)
    • Office of Inspector General (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (145)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (3)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (719)
    • Pesticide Residues (167)
    • Pets (28)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (6)
    • Preemption (29)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (2)
    • Resistance (104)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (29)
    • Seeds (4)
    • soil health (1)
    • synergistic effects (9)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (11)
    • Take Action (542)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (6)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (419)
    • Women’s Health (14)
    • Wood Preservatives (33)
    • World Health Organization (6)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Pollinators' Category


23
Nov

Study Finds that Pollinators, Not Pesticides, Are More Important to Higher Crop Yields

(Beyond Pesticides, November 23, 2022) A new study throws into question the value of the pest management concept of setting action levels around pest infestations. In the course of watermelon production over a span of two years, pollination, not pest levels, was the key determining factor for yield. “These data advocate for a reprioritization of management, to conserve and protect wild bee pollination, which could be more critical than avoiding pest damage for ensuring high yields,” the study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, indicates. Action levels are considered an important aspect of an integrated pest management (IPM) approach in agriculture, whereby a pest infestation reaches levels considered economically unacceptable, leading to a decision to engage in pest control. The concept of IPM however has been influenced by the chemical industry over the decades since its original definition and recent data indicates that it has failed to stop toxic pesticide use. The original intent of IPM was the adoption of preventive practices and utilization of nonchemical tools, placing pesticide use as a last resort when pest control is warranted. However, farms that self-identify as IPM operations use pesticides, sometimes as the first line of defense, while attempting to […]

Share

15
Nov

Synthetic Fertilizers and Pesticides Make Plants Less Attractive to Bumblebees, Research Shows

(Beyond Pesticides, November 15, 2022) Spraying a flowering plant with synthetic fertilizers makes it less attractive to bumblebees, according to research published this month in PNAS Nexus.  “A big issue is thus—agrochemical application can distort floral cues and modify behaviour in pollinators like bees,” said study author Ellard Hunting, PhD, of the University of Bristol, UK. The findings underscore the limited understanding that proponents of chemical agriculture have for the complex processes that food production relies upon and reinforce calls for a broad scale transition to regenerative, organic farming practices. Scientists began with the knowledge that spray applications of various agrichemicals affect the visitation patterns of bumblebees and other pollinators through a range of different processes. Past research finds that notorious bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides not only kill bees outright, but also result in a range of complex damage, including their ability to impede bees’ olfactory senses and adversely affect their vision and flying ability. Other chemicals like glyphosate weaken bees’ ability to distinguish between colors.   A growing area of research is investigating the ways in which pollinators use static electric fields surrounding flowers to find food sources. A 2013 study found that bumblebees use floral electrical fields to discriminate […]

Share

01
Nov

Pesticide Mixtures Reduce Life Span of Honey Bees, Damage Gut Microbiome

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2022) Honey bees exposed to a combination of multiple pesticides suffer a reduced lifespan and experience adverse changes to their gut microbiome, increasing susceptibility to pathogens and disease. This finding comes from a study published recently in Science of the Total Environment, which examines the interactions between the insecticides flupyradifurone and sulfoxaflor and the fungicide azoxystrobin on honey bee health. Both insecticides studied are considered substitutes for notorious bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides, which move through the vascular system of the plant and contaminates its pollen, nectar, and guttation droplets. As declines in pollinator and insect life continue throughout the world, it is critical not only to understand and restrict widely used chemicals like neonicotinoids, but also the regrettable and deleterious substitutions the agrichemical industry has developed to replace them. As the present study reveals, pesticide risk assessments do not inadequately capture the range of harm that can result when pesticides are combined, necessitating a shift toward safer, alternative, and regenerative organic farming systems that do not use these dangerous chemicals. To better understand the impacts of combined pesticide exposure on honey bees, researchers employed three colonies located in Germany’s Martin Luther University that were inspected and free […]

Share

20
Oct

Glyphosate Based Herbicides and Bee Health: The American Bumble Bee

(Beyond Pesticide, October 20,2022) Exposure to environmentally relevant levels of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) weakens bumblebees’ (Bombus Terrestris) ability to distinguish between colors or fine-color discrimination. According to research published in Science of The Total Environment, a lack of fine-color discrimination skills can threaten bumble bee survivability through impact on colony fitness and individual foraging success. Much research attributes the decline of insect pollinators (e.g., commercial and wild bees and monarch butterflies) over the last several decades to the interaction of multiple environmental stressors, from climate change to pesticide use, disease, habitat destruction, and other factors. In the U.S., an increasing number of pollinators, including the American bumblebee and monarch butterfly, are being added or in consideration for listing under the Endangered Species Act, with specific chemical classes like systemic neonicotinoid insecticides putting 89% or more of U.S. endangered species at risk. Pollinator decline directly affects the environment, society, and the economy. Without pollinators, many plant species, both agricultural and nonagricultural, will decline or cease to exist as U.S. pollinator declines, particularly among native wild bees, limits crop yields. In turn, the economy will take a hit, as much of the economy (65%) depends upon the strength of the agricultural sector. As science shows, pesticides are one of the most significant stressors […]

Share

14
Oct

Study Documents Aggregate Insecticide Load for Pollinators in Real-World Analysis

(Beyond Pesticides. October 14, 2022) A team of researchers has taken on the challenge of integrating data from multiple and disparate sources in order to devise tools with which scientists can evaluate pollinator pesticide exposures and impacts more effectively at “landscape scale” (and at real-life exposure levels). Accessing data that are useful and relevant at this landscape level has been a significant problem for researchers and conservationists. This “zoomed out” view is critical because pollinators are highly mobile across thousands of meters of foraging area. A functional understanding of the risks pollinators encounter in their territories requires integrated data at this level, as opposed to the large geographic areas across which pesticide use is typically tracked. The team’s paper on their work — Putting pesticides on the map for pollinator research and conservation — was published in Nature.com in mid-September. Pollinators are essential to healthy ecosystems and to a third of human food sources, as well as to plants used for commercial seed production. As the authors note, nearly 90% of flowering plant species benefit from the services of pollinators that help plants set their seeds and produce flowers and fruit (this last term includes foods widely considered to be “vegetables,” […]

Share

03
Oct

It Is the Season to Transition Lawns and Landscapes to Organic for Municipalities, Schools, and Homes

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2022) Fall is the best time to start transitioning lawns to organic. The key to a healthy lawn is healthy soil and good mowing, watering, and fertilizing practices. Healthy soil contains high organic content and is teeming with biological life. Healthy soil supports the development of healthy grass that is naturally resistant to weeds and pests. In a healthy, fertile and well-maintained lawn, diseases and pest problems are rare. Lawns that are currently chemically-dependent may require more resources to restore the biological life. But in the long-term, an organic lawn uses fewer materials, such as water and fertilizers, and requires less labor for mowing and maintenance. More importantly, organic lawns will be safe for children, pets, and the local drinking water supply. Our treatment of lawns and landscapes is directly related to the health of our environment! Learn about the importance of maintaining a delicate balance from the Beyond Pesticides’ factsheet. TAKE ACTION: In addition to priming your own lawns, and landscapes, tell your mayor or county executive to transition your public parks and lands to organic management practices!  Get Started Now Mow High Until the Season Ends – Bad mowing practices cause more problems than […]

Share

21
Sep

Reduced Productivity in Strawberries Pollinated by Neonic-Exposed Bees, Research Finds

(Beyond Pesticides, September 21, 2022) Strawberry plants pollinated by wild bees exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides produce smaller berries than those pollinated by unexposed bees, finds research published in the journal PLOS One. The findings are yet another piece of evidence pointing to the need for major reforms in the way pesticides are evaluated and pollinators are protected in the United States. As decades of evidence have piled up on the dangers posed by long-lived, systemic, neonicotinoid insecticides, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done little to address the damage to pollinator populations, while needed legislation, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, has languished in Congress without a hearing or a vote, despite having over 75 cosponsors. This new study describes a novel consideration for how neonicotinoids may harm pollinators and impact the food supply. “Previous studies have shown that clothianidin affects wild bees negatively in terms of foraging speed, development and reproduction. Our results indicate that it can also impair the bees’ ability to pollinate strawberry flowers,” says study coauthor Lina Herbertsson, PhD. Scientists established 12 outdoor cages each with 10 strawberry plants and 11 canola plants. For half of the cages, the canola plants were grown with seeds coated […]

Share

13
Sep

Multiple Pesticides Detected in All Store-Bought Milkweed, Threatening Further Monarch Declines

(Beyond Pesticides, September 13, 2022) Every store-bought milkweed sample tested in a recent study contains multiple toxic pesticides, placing monarchs reliant on these plants in harm’s way at a time the species can ill afford any further loss to its population. Pollinator declines have influenced many residents throughout the U.S. to take action into their own hands and transform their home yards or businesses into an oasis for bees, birds, and butterflies. Yet the recent study published in Biological Conservation finds that many retailers are dousing their ‘wildlife-friendly’ plants with pesticides that put this vulnerable species in further danger. “That was the most shocking part,” said lead author Christopher Halsch, a doctoral study at University of Nevada, Reno. “The fact that plants labeled as potentially beneficial or at least friendly to wildlife are not better and in some cases might be worse than other plants available for purchase. This research sheds light on how pesticides may impact western monarchs, but many other butterflies are facing even steeper population declines, and pesticides are likely one driver.” Testing was conducted by purchasing milkweed plants at 33 different stores spanning 15 different states. A sample of each plant was cut after purchase, and […]

Share

29
Aug

Local Pesticide Restrictions Critical to Health, Biodiversity, and Climate

(Beyond Pesticides, August 29, 2022) Does your community have a pesticide-free park managed with organic practices? Do you wish it did? If you do have an organic parks policy, do you have updated information on current practices? It is time to take action to affirm or protect our authority to shift land management in our communities to organic practices—just as the pesticide industry is lobbying to take that right away from us. Become a Parks Advocate. And, take the action below. Advance organic land management in your community and ask your Mayor/County Commissioner/Town Manager to affirm or protect your community’s right to restrict toxic pesticides. If your community is one of a growing number across the country that has taken action to protect its citizens and environment by adopting organic policies and practices in its public spaces, please take this opportunity to request an update on how organic land management is going or ask that the community begin transitioning to organic land management. At the same time, be aware that the pesticide industry is seeking take away the ability of local communities to restrict toxic pesticides. Ask your Mayor/County Commissioner/Town Manager to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators, on your […]

Share

23
Aug

Wasted: Bees Become Disoriented and Uncoordinated After Exposure to Systemic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 23, 2022) Bees exposed to systemic insecticides become disoriented and cannot walk straight, showing evidence of brain damage in areas that coordinate movement, according to research published in Frontiers in Insect Science. Although scientific studies and regulatory determinations have already provided ample evidence implicating systemic insecticides like the neonicotinoids and sulfoxaflor with pollinator danger and decline, new research continues to fill in the remaining gaps. “Here we show that commonly used insecticides like sulfoxaflor and the neonicotinoid imidacloprid can profoundly impair the visually guided behavior of honey bees,” said lead author Rachel H Parkinson, PhD, a scientist at the University of Oxford. “Our results are reason for concern because the ability of bees to respond appropriately to visual information is crucial for their flight and navigation, and thus their survival.” Honey bees rely on landmarks, the direction of sunlight, and wide-field visual motion to orient themselves in a landscape, find nectar and pollen, and bring it back to the hive. While sunlight provides a compass, wide-field visual motion helps bees adjust speed and altitude, and determine where they are relative to known landmarks. Worker bees use this innate ability to reorient themselves to food or their hive […]

Share

27
Jul

Monarchs Listed as Endangered by International Safety Group, while U.S. Fails to Take Meaningful Action

(Beyond Pesticides, July 26, 2022) As monarch butterfly numbers continue to drop throughout the United States, an international conservation group is listing the migratory monarch butterfly as endangered. The move by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) places pressure on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prioritize protections for this rapidly dwindling iconic species. “Today’s Red List update highlights the fragility of nature’s wonders, such as the unique spectacle of monarch butterflies migrating across thousands of kilometres,” said Bruno Oberle, PhD, IUCN Director General. “To preserve the rich diversity of nature we need effective, fairly governed protected and conserved areas, alongside decisive action to tackle climate change and restore ecosystems. In turn, conserving biodiversity supports communities by providing essential services such as food, water and sustainable jobs.” Migratory monarch butterflies are under threat from a range of factors harming both their western and eastern populations. Logging and deforestation have destroyed much of their overwintering grounds in Mexico and California. Climate change has subjected the butterflies to temperature anomalies and extremes, severe weather, and wildfires. Herbicide use has eliminated millions of acres of breeding habitat by killing off milkweed plants that monarchs require to rear their […]

Share

13
Jul

France Enacts Sweeping Restrictions on Pesticide Use in Public and Private Landscaped Areas

(Beyond Pesticides, July 13, 2022) A new law in France bans the use of lawn and landscape pesticides in both public and private areas frequently used by the public. The law, which came into effect at the beginning of this month, applies throughout the country and extends the scope of a previous decree that restricted pesticide use on green spaces in public areas. As it stands, France’s previous approach is set to be adopted by the entirety of the European Union under its Farm to Fork initiative goals of reducing overall pesticide use by 50% by 2030. This new law, which tracks most similarly to restrictions enacted in most Canadian provinces and by certain U.S. cities like South Portland and Portland, ME, highlights the importance of extending pesticide restrictions to most all outdoor spaces to ensure health and environmental safety. The new restrictions apply to a laundry list of sensitive sites where pesticide use can unnecessarily harm individuals or the wider public: Private residential properties, including their outdoor areas Hotels, hostels, lodgings, camping sites and residential leisure parks Cemeteries Allotments [community gardens]; Amusement, entertainment and recreation parks with a variety of activities and facilities; Areas accessible to the public in […]

Share

11
Jul

A Livable Future Requires Local Action

(Beyond Pesticides, July 11, 2022) If there is one thing that recent Supreme Court decisions, including West Virginia et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al. (June 30, 2022, No. 20-1530), have shown us, it is that we cannot rely on regulators, courts, and corporations to protect health and the environment and ensure a livable future. Fortunately, at least with respect to our climate and environmental crises, solutions are up and running in many communities, and have been embraced by many institutions and companies. These efforts need our support, and there is much was can do in our communities now, as we advocate for federal and international policies that take the existential environmental crises seriously and with urgency. Ask your mayor or county executive to convert to organic land management in city parks and playing fields, and other public places. We learned in the 1970s that energy crises cannot be solved entirely at the supply end, but require changes in the way we do things—by conserving energy. Similarly, our environmental crises today cannot be solved totally by regulation alone, especially given the current political climate. We must advance new and creative approaches. Organic food production and land management are examples […]

Share

01
Jul

EU Bans Pesticides in Parks, Playgrounds, and Playing Fields; Fails to Set Organic Transition Goals in Ag

(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2022) The European Commission (EC) introduced on June 22 new rules that ban all pesticides in “public parks or gardens, playgrounds, recreation or sports grounds, public paths, as well as ecologically sensitive areas.” In agriculture, the policy adopts strategies for achieving the pesticide use- and risk-reduction goals of its Farm to Fork initiative. The EC — the European Union’s (EU’s) politically independent executive arm — proffered new rules that are binding on all EU Member States. Those states must, in turn, adopt their own binding targets to help meet the overall EU targets — a 50% reduction in use and risk of chemical pesticides, and a 50% reduction in use of more-hazardous pesticides, by 2030. Beyond Pesticides has covered the shortcomings of the EU’s previous approach, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the Farm to Fork (F2F) strategy and its 2021 disparagement by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, and his apparent turnaround in the large and recently announced USDA investment in the U.S. transition to organic agriculture (albeit without metrics or acreage goals), a transition F2F seeks to advance for the EU. Regarding the ban of pesticides in parks, the policy says: “Use of plant […]

Share

23
Jun

Disappearance of California Bumble Bees Calls for Urgent Protection of Pollinators Nationwide

(Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2022) In the first California statewide bumble bee census in 40 years, a University of California—Riverside (UCR) study, published in Ecology and Evolution, reveals that once common bumble bee species in California are disappearing from the ecosystem. Wild pollinators like bumble bees provide pollination to billions of dollars worth of crops each year as these insects can flourish in cooler habitats and lower light levels than commercial honey bees. However, pollinators (such as bees, monarch butterflies, and bats) are a bellwether for environmental stress as individuals and as colonies. Both wild and commercial bees and other pollinators encounter multiple stressors, including pesticides, parasites, and poor nutrition, that act together to increase the risk of bee mortality. Therefore, studies like these highlight the need to establish monitoring and conservation frameworks incorporating varying habitats and species to assess fluctuations in biodiversity. The study notes, “Specifically, our study shows that greater monitoring of the diverse bumble bees of California is needed in order to better understand the drivers of biodiversity and decline in this genus, and to more effectively manage bumble bee conservation in the state.”  Researchers compared data on bumble bee populations in California in 1980 and 2020. After collecting bumble […]

Share

21
Jun

Pollinators Still Need Help; Act for Pollinator Week

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2022) June 20-24 is Pollinator Week, during which we recognize—and take action to protect—this important ecosystem link. Pollinators––bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other organisms––make a critical contribution to plant health, crop productivity, and the preservation of natural resources, but their existence is threatened by their pesticide-contaminated habitat. Pesticides have consistently been implicated as a key contributor to dramatic pollinator declines. Of the 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the world’s food, 71 are pollinated by bees. Honey bees alone pollinate 95 kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables, such as apples, avocados, almonds, and cranberries. Take action to protect pollinators. Providing protection for pollinators also protects the ecosystem in which they live. That protection requires eliminating harm as well as providing safe habitats where they can live and reproduce.  Provide organic habitat on your own property and encourage your town to go organic. Since plant starts in many garden centers across the country are grown from seeds coated with bee-toxic neonicotinoid pesticides, or drenched with them, Beyond Pesticides has compiled a comprehensive directory of companies and organizations that sell organic seeds and plants to the general public. Included in this directory are seeds for vegetables, flowers, and herbs, as well as […]

Share

07
Jun

Glyphosate Weed Killer Disrupts Bumblebees’ Nest Temperature, Leading to Colony Failure

(Beyond Pesticides, June 7, 2022) Bumblebee colonies exposed to low levels of the weed killer glyphosate are unable to adequately regulate nest temperature, imperiling the next generation of bumblebees and long-term colony growth and survival. This latest finding, published this month in the journal Science, is a stark reminder that a pesticide does not have to kill an animal outright in order to create effects that ultimately result in death and population declines. “Sublethal effects, i.e. effects on organisms that are not lethal but can be seen, for example, in the animals’ physiology or behaviour, can have a significant negative impact and should be taken into account when pesticides are approved in future,” said Anja WeidenmĂŒller, PhD, of the University of Konstanz, Germany. With regulators at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refusing to adequately account for sublethal impacts, and myopically focused on the acute effects of pesticide exposure, bumblebee populations in the United States are in free fall and require urgent protective action. To better understand how glyphosate exposure affects bumblebee colony growth and brood (young larval bee) development, researchers first split colonies in two. One side of the colony was fed sugar water containing 5mg/liter of glyphosate, while […]

Share

31
May

DDT Still Harming Birds of Prey, 50 Years After Its Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2022) Fifty years after the banning of DDT, the notorious insecticide is still harming iconic birds of prey along the California coastline. According to research published in Environmental Science and Technology, California condors and marine mammals along California’s coast are contaminated with several dozen different halogenated organic compounds (hazardous, often-chlorinated chemicals) related to DDT, chlordane, and other now-banned legacy chemicals. The findings highlight the incredible importance of addressing these original “forever chemicals,” and making certain that we do not continue to repeat the mistakes of the past with new and different, yet equally dangerous, chemistries. Between 1947 and 1971, the Montrose Chemical Corporation of California, the largest historical producer of DDT, released over 1,700 tons of DDT into the LA sewer system, which eventually made its way into the Pacific Ocean. During this time, several other companies discharged PCBs, leading to further chemical contamination of land and sediment. As recent as April 2021, scientists discovered 25,000 barrels likely containing DDT near Catalina Island along the southern California coast. These releases have resulted in serious environmental and health problems throughout the coastal food chain. Yet, as the present study shows, scientists are only beginning to understand the […]

Share

17
May

Study of Dramatic Flying Insect Declines Reinforces Earlier Findings

(Beyond Pesticides, May 17, 2022) With public awareness of an ongoing ‘insect apocalypse’ growing, one of the first anecdotes people often note is how many fewer bugs are found splatted onto their car windshield than in the past. In a recent survey, conservation groups in Britain are finding evidence of insect declines in exactly that place, providing scientific backing for these concerning suspicions. Between 2004 and 2021, 58.5% fewer flying insects were squashed onto car license plates. “The results from the Bugs Matter study should shock and concern us all,” says Paul Hadaway, conservation director at Kent Wildlife Trust, which conducted the study alongside UK organization Buglife. “We are seeing declines in insects which reflect the enormous threats and loss of wildlife more broadly across the Country. These declines are happening at an alarming rate and without concerted action to address them we face a stark future. Insects and pollinators are fundamental to the health of our environment and rural economies.” The survey was conducted primarily through citizen science, utilizing the “Bugs Matter” mobile app, and a sampling grid, referred to as a ‘splatometer’ that is affixed to a car’s license plate. Data was retrieved from trips taken by citizen […]

Share

09
May

With Decision on Insecticide, EPA Betrays Protection of Pollinators. . .Again

(Beyond Pesticides, May 9, 2022) While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its guidelines for pollinator risk assessments in 2014, the agency continues to either fail to conduct full assessments, or dismiss concerning data it receives. EPA appears to discount threats like the insect apocalypse, evidenced by a 75% decline in insect abundance, which threatens not only global ecosystems, but also food production that depends on animal pollination. As pesticides move through the food web, birds are also at risk. Bird numbers are down 29% since Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring in 1962. Tell EPA To Protect Against Other Threats to Pollinators. Tell Congress To Insist that EPA Does Its Job. The problem is highlighted by EPA’s recent Interim Decision on fenbuconazole, in which the agency notes that, “For larval bees, RQs (risk quotients) exceed the LOC (level of concern) for all pollinator attractive uses including when assessed at the lowest application rate of 0.0938 lb a.i./Acre (RQ = 1.1).” Yet in the same document, the agency declares that “
the benefits of fenbuconazole (e.g., efficacy in management of fungal pathogens) outweigh any remaining risk and that continuing to register fenbuconazole provides significant benefits, including its ability to increase crop […]

Share

03
May

Fungicide Found to Jeopardize Male Pollinator’s Ability to Find a Mate, as EPA Ignores Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2022) Exposure to a commonly used fungicide considered to be ‘slightly toxic or nontoxic’ to pollinators makes male mason bees less likely to find a mate, jeopardizing future generations of critically important pollinators. This determination comes from research recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology by scientists at Germany’s University of WĂŒrzburg. The timing of these findings comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reapproved uses of fenbuconazole, the fungicide in question, late last year without completing all required studies on pollinator health effects. Horned mason bees (Osmia cornuta), a solitary bee species, have a complex mating process that includes a range of “pre-copulatory behaviors” used by male bees attract females. Males create thoracic vibrations with their flight muscles, rub the eyes of female bees with their antennae, and emit a distinct odor from their body. If the female likes the presentation, she will mate with the male. Otherwise, she will move him to the side and wait for another male to try to win her affection. To see how this process was influenced by pesticide exposure, researchers conducted a range of different experiments. For the first, newly emerged male and female bees were […]

Share

02
May

No Mow May—Support Organic Habitat

(Beyond Pesticides, May 2, 2022) Lawns occupy 40 million acres, or 2% of the land in the U.S. Their maintenance typically involves pesticides and fertilizers that kill pollinators and soil life and wash into streams, where they do more damage. Lawn maintenance also involves a lot of mowing. While mowing is an effective way to encourage grasses over most broadleaved plants, it also has broader ecological impacts. The 3,600 species of bees in the U.S. and Canada range from large bumblebees to tiny sweat bees. There are many things you can do in your yard and community to protect these bees—starting with managing lawns and landscapes organically and planting flowers favored by bees and other pollinators. This one—No Mow May—requires less work. Participate in No Mow May. Manage your landscape organically. Plant flowers for pollinators. Send a message to your mayor.  No Mow May began with research by Plantlife in the UK and was taken up by property owners in Appleton, WI, who demonstrated that “homes that participated in No Mow May had more diverse and abundant flora than regularly mowed green spaces throughout the city.” May is the month when many bees emerge from hibernation throughout the U.S. and […]

Share

25
Apr

Time Running Out to Save the Earth, We Can Make a Difference in Our Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, April 25, 2022) In a campaign to set in place practical programs to address the existential crises of pesticide-induced health threats, the climate emergency, and biodiversity collapse, Natural Grocers continues its fifth annual Ladybug LoveSM drive throughout the month of April, generating broader support for Beyond Pesticides. The campaign celebrates insects that play a crucial role in food supply stability, and regenerative farming practices that use ladybugs and other beneficial insects instead of harmful synthetic pesticides to control pests. Natural Grocers will donate $1 to Beyond Pesticides for each person who pledges (including renewals) to “not use chemicals that harm ladybugs and other beneficial insects on their lawn or garden, and to support 100% organic produce.” You do not need to shop at Natural Grocers to sign, but you will support the environment, public health, and Beyond Pesticides’ hands-on program to assist communities with the transition to organic parks and playing fields. Please Take Three Actions. Sign the Ladybug Pledge this year (even if you have previously) and support Beyond Pesticides. April shoppers at Natural Grocers’ 162 stores—all in 20 states west of the Mississippi—are also invited to donate to Beyond Pesticides at checkout. Ladybug Love also features […]

Share