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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Imidacloprid' Category


04
Oct

Citrus Farmers and Beekeepers at odds over Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 4, 2013)  It was hoped that a  recent meeting in Florida between beekeepers and citrus growers could create stronger communication between both agricultural sectors. Beekeepers in Florida have begun to voice growing concerns over the increased use of insecticides on citrus trees where their bees are used as pollinators. Though this meeting worked to set up an important dialog between beekeepers and citrus growers, it focused predominantly on the effects of accidental exposure. This focus does not take into account the long-term residues these systemic insecticides can leave in the environment, contaminating nectar and pollen.     The recent September meeting that was organized by the Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putman, a former U.S. congressman and citrus farmer, was meant to start a dialog between citrus growers and beekeepers. This dialog was viewed as necessary by Florida’s Department of Agriculture as beekeepers are worried over the increased use of insecticides in citrus groves. Recently, citrus farmers have increased their use of insecticides from several times a year to applications every month or greater to combat the invasive Asian citrus pysllids. Asian citrus pysllids can infect trees with a bacterium that causes citrus greening. Honey bees in Florida […]

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17
Sep

Canada Declares Farm Use of Neonicotinoids “Unsustainable”

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2013) Last Friday, Health Canada released new measures the agency claims are intended to protect bees from exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. As with recent regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), beekeepers and environmental groups are criticizing the measures as inadequate, not going far enough to protect domesticated honey bees that both in Canada and the U.S.  have seen losses of over 30% each winter since 2006. Ontario beekeeper Dave Schuit told the CBC, “Basically I see it as a Band-Aid. [The Pest Management Regulatory Agency] should’ve done their study before they approved this pesticide.” Dave Schuit owns Saugeen Country Honey Inc., and reportedly lost 37 million bees last year — more than half of his over 2,000 hives — as a result of exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides. Health Canada’s proposal includes: Requiring the use of safer dust-reducing seed flow lubricants (most corn and soy seed is coated with neonicotinod pesticides before planting and then mixed with a lubricant like talc that creates a toxic  dust in seed planters); Requiring adherence to safer seed planting practices; Requiring new pesticide and seed package labels with enhanced warnings; and Requiring updated value information be provided to […]

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05
Sep

Orange Grower Fined for Killing of Honey Bees with Pesticide Widely Linked to Bee Kills

(Beyond Pesticides, September 5, 2013) One of Florida’s largest citrus growers, Ben Hill Griffin, Inc., has been fined a mere $1,500 after a state investigation found that the farm illegally sprayed pesticides, resulting in the death of millions of managed honey bees. Beekeeper Randall Foti, a Crystal River-based beekeeper of 42 years, reported the bee kill to the state back in March. According to Mr. Roti, millions of his bees, as well as those owned by beekeeper Barry Hart of Fargo, GA, were dead as a result of over a dozen aerial pesticide sprayings in the orange groves. He estimates that due to the bee kills, his colonies were only able to produce half the amount of honey, resulting in a loss of $240,000 from honey alone. ”Every four days, they were spraying seven or eight different types of chemicals,” Mr. Foti told the Palm Beach Post.  “A $1,500 fine is not much of a deterrent.” Though this is the first time the state of Florida has taken action against a citrus grower for a reported bee kill in relation to a pesticide violation, the Palm Beach Post reports that beekeepers have been arguing for this type of action since […]

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19
Aug

EPA’s New Pesticide Label Inadequate for Honey Bee Protection

(Beyond Pesticides, August 19, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new pesticide label for honey bee protection, announced Thursday, has been widely criticized by beekeepers and environmentalists as offering inadequate protection in the face of devastating bee decline. Under the new guidelines, the label will prohibit the use of some neonicotinoid pesticides when bees are present, and includes a “bee advisory box” and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. Critics question the efficacy of the label change in curtailing a systemic pesticide that contaminates nectar and pollen, poisoning bees indiscriminately, and the enforceability of the label language, which is geared to managed not wild bees. EPA has not formally acknowledged the peer-reviewed science linking neonicotinoid pesticides to colony collapse disorder and bee decline, as is the case with the European Union’s European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), where neonicotinoids are being phased out. Specifically, the new label applies to pesticide products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid […]

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15
Aug

Garden Centers Sell Bee-Attractant Plants with Pesticide Residues Toxic to Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2013) Many “bee friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) and other leading garden centers have been treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a pilot study released yesterday by   Friends of the Earth-US, Beyond Pesticides,  and others.  Supporting organizations sent a  letter  yesterday —along with petitions signed by more than 175,000 people— to Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target and other top garden retailers, asking the stores to stop selling neonicotinoids and plants treated with the pesticides. A majority of the UK’s largest garden retailers, including Homebase, B&Q and Wickes, have already stopped selling neonicotinoids. The pilot study, co-authored by the Pesticide Research Institute, found that 7 of 13 samples of garden plants purchased at top retailers in Washington DC, the San Francisco Bay Area and Minneapolis contain neurotoxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids that studies show harm or kill bees and other pollinators. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. These systemic pesticides, which  move through the plant’s vascular system and express themselves through pollen […]

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18
Jul

EU Proposes More Pesticide Restrictions to Protect Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, July 18, 2013) A few months after the groundbreaking decision to suspend the use of three neonicotinoids shown to be highly toxic to bees, the European Commission is moving forward again with a proposal to restrict the use of the insecticide fipronil, which has also   been identified as posing an acute risk to honey bees. The proposal is backed by a Member State experts meeting in the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health. This proposal follows a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)  scientific risk assessment, published on May 27, 2013, which found that seeds treated with pesticides containing fipronil pose an acute risk to Europe’s honey bee population. According to this assessment, it was found that fipronil poses a high acute risk to honeybees when used as a seed treatment for corn. Specifically, EFSA concluded that high acute risk from dust drift resulting from treated corn exists, and identified several data gaps and study limitations for other field crops. Data on nectar and pollen could not be evaluated. 23 Member States supported the fipronil restriction, 2 Member States voted against and 3 Member States abstained during the standing committee vote. This latest EU-wide restriction comes […]

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03
Jul

Groups Appeal to President Obama to Suspend Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 3, 2013) In light of recent action in Europe to suspend to use of certain neonicotinoid pesticides, Beyond Pesticides joined 12 other environmental and advocacy organizations in urging the Obama administration to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the European Union’s (EU) lead in recognizing that risks posed by these pesticides are unacceptably high, and suspend the use of these chemicals in the U.S. to protect pollinators and the nation’s agricultural economy. The letter urges the Obama administration to not only direct EPA to follow Europe’s lead in suspending certain neonicotinoid pesticides uses, but requests even more protective measures, including a minimum two-year suspension for all outdoor uses of neonicotinoid insecticides pending resolution of their hazards to bees and beneficial organisms. Highlighting the negative environmental and economic impacts of outdoor uses of the EPA-approved neonicotinoid insecticides: imidacloprid, clothianidin  , thiamethoxam, dinetofuran and acetamiprid, as well as a recognition that the initial risk assessments for these chemicals fail to adequately consider key risks to bee health, the letter to President Obama notes that it, “would not be responsible to continue to allow these threatening compounds to be used so broadly.” On average, U.S. beekeepers lost […]

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20
Jun

House Farm Bill Defeated After Adoption of Hastings Pollinator Amendment

Update 4:08 PM: Earlier today the House Farm Bill was defeated by a vote of 234 to 195. Many Democrats were moved to vote against the bill after several amendments were accepted yesterday that would make it more difficult for individuals to receive food stamp benefits. The House bill already included more than $20 billion dollars in cuts to food stamp programs over five years before the amendment process began. 62 Republicans also opposed the bill, arguing that bill did not go far enough in its cuts. This failure of the Farm Bill is an opportunity for environmental organizations to push for stronger legislation. Beyond Pesticides found several sections of the latest House Farm Bill to be particularly alarming. Section 10013 of the Farm Bill, commonly referred to as the “Reducing Regulatory Burden Act of 2013,” would have eliminated the requirement for pesticide applicators to file Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for application where pesticides could be discharged into water. Section 10014 would have limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate the importation of genetically engineered pesticide incorporated seeds. Beyond Pesticides would also like to   thank all those who stood with our organization and took action on […]

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18
Jun

New Study Exposes Range of Harm from Neonicotinoid Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 18, 2013) Neonicotinoid pesticides have broad ranging negative impacts not only on beneficial pollinators, but on overall biodiversity and ecosystem health, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology. The study, conducted by David Goulson, Ph.D, of the University of Sussex, provides a detailed overview of the current literature on the economic and environmental risks of neonicotinoid pesticides. Dr. Goulson’s work draws stark and disturbing conclusions about the environmental fate of these systemic insecticides. First introduced in the early 1990’s as an alternative to the acutely toxic organophosphate and carbamate classes of  pesticides, neonicotinoids are now the most widely used insecticides in the world. They can be broadly applied as a spray or soil drench, however, the ability of these chemicals to translocate into a plant as it grows has led to the creation of a large market within conventional agriculture for seeds coated with these pesticides. As Dr. Goulson notes, global acceptance of treated seeds has undermined the adoption of alternative methods of conventional pest control, even  integrated pest management (IPM), which can reduce pesticide reliance  through monitoring and biological, structural, and cultural strategies. Instead, the treated seed market pushes farmers toward […]

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17
Jun

Celebrate Pollinator Week and BEE Protective June 17-23!

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2013) Today Beyond Pesticides and the BEE Protective campaign kicks off National Pollinator Week in the United States as hundreds of actions to support pollinators take place across the country. This week we urge communities to come together to highlight the importance of pollinators through public education, the creation of pollinator friendly habitats, and other exciting activities. Beyond Pesticides invites you to take a real pledge to support pollinators and pollinator-friendly habitat, even as several pesticide companies, including Bayer and Syngenta, are using this week as an opportunity to “Bee-Wash” their image and to distance themselves from the toxic effects of their products on pollinators. BEE Protective Beyond Pesticides’ recently launched campaign has all the educational tools you need to actually help pollinators. We urge you to sign our Pesticide Free Zone Declaration and pledge to maintain your yard, park, garden or other green space as organically-managed and pollinator friendly.  In honor of all the benefits pollinators provide, and in light of the plight of honey bees worldwide, we are offering free organic pollinator-friendly seed packets from now until June 23rd to those who sign the pledge (supply is limited, so sign today). Help us reach […]

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10
Jun

Washington Ag Dept Rejects Petition to Curtail Bee-Killer Pesticide

(June 10, 2013, Beyond Pesticides) The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on June 6 rejected a petition by Thurston County Commissioners to restrict sale, use and application of neonicotinoid insecticides. On April 8, 2013, the Commissioners requested the action by WSDA because of concerns about the effect of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee colony health. The Commissioners were acting on “substantial bee colony loss in 2012” reported by the Olympia Beekeepers Association. In its request, the Commissioners asked the state to implement a “restriction on the purchase, sale, distribution and application of the neonicotinoid class of insecticides for ornamental use to persons or entities with a valid WSDA pesticide applicator license” and indicated that “immediate action on a local level is appropriate and necessary.” Beyond Pesticides wrote a letter of support in favor of the petition. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. According to the EPA, uncertainties have been identified since their initial registration regarding the potential environmental fate and effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly as they […]

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13
May

New Report Details Mounting Bee Losses

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2013) According to preliminary results of a survey by the Bee Informed Partnership, 31.1 percent of managed honey bee colonies in the U.S. were lost during the 2012/2013 winter.   Though these preliminary loss reports are similar to the past six year average of 30.5 percent, the new loss numbers represent a 42 percent increase compared to the previous winter. Survey participants indicate that they consider a loss rate of 15 percent as “acceptable,” but 70 percent of participants suffered losses greater than this. With continued winter bee losses of over 30%, and concern whether there will be enough bees to pollinate U.S. crops this year, beekeepers and environmentalists say it is imperative  that regulators act by banning the neonicotiniod pesticides that have been implicated in the global decline of honey bee populations. In addition to this national report, several state level incidents of large scale honey bee colony losses have been reported. In a recent incident in Florida, citrus groves experienced an acute foliar poisoning that resulted in severely damaged colonies. Oranges had an early bloom this year, and were still blooming near the end of April. One beekeeper’s colonies suffered immense losses due to […]

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03
May

New Federal Report on Honey Bee Health

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2013) Despite the groundbreaking decision in Europe earlier this week to protect honey bees by suspending the neonicotinoid pesticides shown to be highly toxic, the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report yesterday which fails to address the overwhelming scientific evidence of neonicotinoid-related bee death and decline. The report presents no long-term, sustainable solutions to address the current bee crisis. Instead, the report recommends further research on the role of pesticides in honey bee health, further highlighting the stymied pace of U.S. regulatory efforts. The report follows on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health, which was led by federal researchers and managers and Pennsylvania State University in October 2012. Stakeholders at the conference included industry, federal officials, scientists, beekeepers, and activists who discussed several factors pertaining to adverse pollinator heath. Parasites, disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure were highlighted at the meeting as synergistic factors in the observable nationwide honey bee decline. The report recommends further research on the impacts of pesticides on bees at the colony level in the field, but does not capture the science connecting pesticides to adverse effects or the need […]

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30
Apr

Victory in Europe! EU Votes to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2013) A landmark decision by the European Commission on Monday means that bee-killing, neonicotinoid pesticides will experience a continent-wide ban in Europe for two years. A  15 Member States majority  supported the ban, with eight against, and four abstaining. European Health and Consumer Commissioner Tony Borg explains, “Since our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Commission will go ahead with its text in the coming weeks. I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion annually to European agriculture, are protected.” The ban comes several months after the EFSA released a report identifying “high acute risk” to honey bees from uses of certain neonicotinoid chemicals. The moratorium will begin no later than December 1 this year. “We’re happy to see the EU take a leadership role to remove from the market these chemicals associated with colony collapse disorder and hazards to bee health. We’ll continue to push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through legal and advocacy means to follow-up with urgent actions needed to protect bees,” says […]

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17
Apr

Bulgarian Beekeepers Protest Use of Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 17, 2013)   Beekeepers in Bulgaria are revving up protests calling for a moratorium on the use of pesticides hazardous to bees, with a nationwide demonstration scheduled for Earth Day on April 22. The beekeepers are citing European and Bulgarian studies saying that neonicotinoid pesticides harm the immune systems of bees, shortening their lives and aggravating the mass disappearance of bee colonies. At an April 10 march, beekeeper Hristo Stoikov told Bulgarian National Television that in the past three years close to 60 percent of the bee population had disappeared. If the government failed to act, Bulgaria would be left with no bees. Separate reports said that about 200, 000 bees died in Bulgaria in 2012, about 20 per cent of the country’s bee population. The Union of Bulgarian Beekeepers is citing European and Bulgarian studies saying that neonicotinoid pesticides harm the immune systems of bees, shortening their lives and aggravating the mass disappearance of bee colonies. Beekeepers are upset that in the most recent European Union (EU)-level vote on banning the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides — clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, Bulgaria was among countries that abstained. At the beginning of 2013, the European Commission asked […]

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15
Apr

Supermarket Chain to Stop Suppliers from Using Bee-Harming Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2013) British supermarket chain, Waitrose Limited, has made the decision to phase out the use of bee-toxic neonicotinoid insecticides across its supply chain. This is happening in lieu of strong regulatory changes expected by the European Union (EU). The company, which has more than 200 branches across the UK, told its fruit, vegetable, and flower suppliers that they would have until the end of 2014 to stop using neonictoinoids, in particular imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam. These restrictions, delineated in Waitrose’s new Seven Point Plan for Pollinators, will eventually extend to some of their commodities, including oil seed and corn; however, the company did not announce any timeline for this phase-out. The managing director, Mark Price, released a statement that said, “Waitrose aims to be a restorative retailer, putting back more than we take from the environment, and we believe our decision on the three formulations of neonicotinoids is appropriate until conclusive evidence is put forward about the effects of these three chemicals.” The move follows in the footsteps of other high profile garden centers, hardware stores, and DYI retailers that have already stopped supplying these harmful chemicals on their shelves. Nevertheless, Waitrose’s commitment to the pollinator […]

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10
Apr

Members of UK Parliament Call for Precautionary Ban on Neonicotinoids

(Beyond Pesticides, April 10, 2013) In response to the United Kingdom (UK) blocking attempts to introduce a Europe-wide ban on the world’s most widely used insecticides – neonicotinoids, some members of parliament (MPs) from the environmental audit committee (EAC) chided their government last week for relying on “fundamentally flawed” studies and failing to uphold its own precautionary principle, saying that the UK must suspend the use of the pesticides linked to serious harm in bees. The UK environment secretary, Owen Paterson, must end his department’s “extraordinary complacency” and suspend the use of pesticides linked to serious harm in bees, according to a damning report from an influential cross-party committee of MPs. The UK is blocking attempts to introduce a Europe-wide ban on the world’s most widely used insecticides, neonicotinoids, arguing that the scientific evidence is inconclusive. But MPs on parliament’s green watchdog, the environmental audit committee (EAC), said the government was relying on “fundamentally flawed” studies and failing to uphold its own precautionary principle. The EAC report criticizes ministers and the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) for their “extraordinarily complacent approach to protecting bees”. The report calls on the government to impose a ban on imidacloprid, clothianidin […]

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09
Apr

Pesticides Found in Long Island Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2013) Last Wednesday, close to a hundred people attended a public hearing at the Riverhead campus of Suffolk County Community College, sponsored by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to comment on the draft of the Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy. The strategy, which was released in January, is dramatically different than a draft plan DEC had released in 2011. The draft plan had initially received praise from environmental organizations for its “zero tolerance policy”   to ensure certain chemicals did not end up in Long Island’s drinking water. However, the revamped strategy fails to offer any meaningful protective measures or strong pesticide regulations. This is concerning, given trace amounts of metalaxyl, imidacloprid and atrazine have been repeatedly detected in test wells, along with 117 other pesticides detected in Long Island drinking water. State officials argued that pesticide levels in Long Island’s drinking water are far below federal standards. However, the pesticides that have been found in the drinking water have been linked to several health and environmental problems. Because of these health and environmental risks the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a grassroots organization working in Long Island, has called for DEC to ban […]

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03
Apr

Bayer, Syngenta Propose Bee Health Plan to Forestall Restrictions on Products

(Beyond Pesticides, April 3, 2013)   Last week, Syngenta and Bayer CropScience proposed an action plan to forestall pending European Union (EU) restrictions on their neonicotinoid products that have been linked to global bee declines.   Stating that a ban on their products would not save hives, the plan focuses on implementing agricultural best management practices, planting habitat, and new research and development, all of which fail to seriously address the real problem that their products are highly toxic to bees. This new industry plan comes on the heels of the European Union (EU) stalemate on bee health, and after the EU food safety agency concluded that certain neonicotinoids pose unacceptable risks to bees. Public and regulatory scrutiny is now focused on the class of chemicals — neonicotinoids— linked to bee health decline. Neonicotinoids have been shown by numerous studies to adversely impact the health of  bees, as well as  birds and aquatic organisms. Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety, and Pesticide Action Network North America joined beekeepers and other environmental and public health advocacy groups to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for the suspension of the neonicotinoids, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The science continues to document these […]

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29
Mar

Studies Find that Pesticides Cause Brain Damage in Bees

(Beyond Pesticides, March 29, 2013) Two studies released Wednesday support the findings of the European Food Safety Authority that neonicotinoid insecticides pose an unacceptable risk to bees. The pair of British studies indicate that neonicotinoids and miticides cause brain damage, compromising bee survival. The study, published in Nature Communications by researchers at the University of Dundee and Newcastle University, concludes that imidacloprid  and clothianidin, a commonly used insecticides on crops and plants, as well as the organophosphate miticide coumaphos, a treatment for Varroa bee mites, cause cognitive damage in bees. The research indicates that within 20 minutes of exposure to pesticides the neurons in the learning center of the brain stop firing, causing “epileptic type” hyperactivity. While the bees are still alive, the lobes of the brain fail to communicate with each other with obvious implications for their survival, Another study, published in the Journal for Experimental Biology by a team of Newcastle scientists, links imidacloprid and coumaphos to learning and memory impairment. The research indicates that brain damage from pesticides makes it more difficult for bees to forage and find food, and when they find the food they have trouble locating and returning to their hives. In sum, the […]

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18
Mar

EU Split on Suspending Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 18, 2013) The bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides used for agriculture will continue to be used across the European Union (EU), as members failed to reach an agreement on the proposal to suspend their use on flowering crops over the next two years. The proposal had followed reports released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which found the continued use of neonicotinoids to be an unacceptable “high acute risk” to pollinators, particularly honey bees. However, three EU members opposed the plan to suspend, blocking the European Commission from attaining a qualified majority to adopt the proposed suspension. “The commission put the text to the vote and no qualified majority was reached, either in favor or against the text,” the European Commission said in a statement. Those opposing the proposal, notably UK and German Ministers, argued that more scientific evidence was needed as a suspension could cause disproportionate damage to food production, counter to research indicating bee declines also damage crop productivity. Pesticide companies Bayer and Syngenta have pressed hard following the EFSA report to effect this outcome. The decision, or lack thereof, runs contrary to a precautionary approach to ensuring healthy bees as critical for our food production […]

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12
Feb

Vanishing Honey Bee Colonies May Impact California’s Almond Production

(Beyond Pesticides, February 12, 2013)   Is 2013 the year colony collapse disorder (CCD) begins impacting our food supply? According to the American Bee Journal, almond growers in California may not have access to the honey bee colonies necessary to pollinate this year’s crop. “We need 1.6 million colonies, or two colonies per acre, and California has only about 500,000 colonies that can be used for that purpose. We need to bring in a million more colonies but due to the winter losses, we may not have enough bees,” says Eric Mussen, PhD,  extension apiculturist at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) Department of Entomology. The problem, Dr. Mussen explains, is due to heavy losses this winter and less populous hives overall. Some beekeepers are reporting astonishing winter losses upwards of 90 percent, and in select cases complete colony loss. Honey production in 2012 was one of the worst years in the history of the United States, Dr. Mussen notes. Less honey means less food for overwintering bees, putting increased stress on colonies attempting to fight off the spread of CCD. CCD is the name given to the precipitous decline of honey bee populations around the world beginning in […]

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01
Feb

EU Commission Takes Steps To Suspend Bee-Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2013) The European Commission announced yesterday its position against the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, pushing nations within the European Union (EU) to impose a two year suspension on their use. The proposal, put forward at a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, would restrict the application of neonicotinoids as granules, seed-treatment or spray, on crops that are attractive to bees, particularly, sunflowers, rapeseed, corn, cotton, and cereal crops. Environmental groups say that this decision should signal the way forward for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend neonicotinoids in the U.S. “It’s a great thing,” said New York beekeeper Jim Doan, “I’m hoping that the EPA follows in their footsteps. While I recognize our government works differently, it says something that the European government has recognized the overwhelming data on the impact of these pesticides.” The announcement comes on the heels of research conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which indicated that three neonicotinoid insecticides””imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam, produced by Switzerland’s Syngenta and Germany’s Bayer, pose an unacceptable hazards to honey bees. In its report released January 16th, EFSA concludes that systemic contamination of neonicotinoid-treated crops, neonicotinoid […]

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