New Pesticide Labels To Protect Bees

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In an ongoing effort to protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. EPA has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.

“Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides. The EPA is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

The new labels will have a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. Today’s announcement affects products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam. The EPA will work with pesticide manufacturers to change labels so that they will meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) safety standard.

In May, USDA and EPA released a comprehensive scientific report on honey bee health, showing scientific consensus that there are a complex set of stressors associated with honey bee declines, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure.

The agency continues to work with beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, pesticide and seed companies, and federal and state agencies to reduce pesticide drift dust and advance best management practices. The EPA recently released new enforcement guidance to federal, state, and tribal enforcement officials to enhance investigations of bee kill incidents.

Click here for more on EPA’s label changes and pollinator protection efforts.

View the infographic on EPA’s new bee advisory box.

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2 comments on “New Pesticide Labels To Protect Bees

  1. Improving labels is not going far enough. There is recklessness and carelessness among many applicators by land and air. People and companies using pesticides have to be held accountable for what they do to the environment. There is so much misuse of pesticides that the air from coast to coast is filled with toxins. I never spray my fruit trees. This is the first year that my fruit trees are codling moth free. Should I be thankful for pesticide drift or be alarmed for the toxins, not only in my neighborhood, but in surrounding areas of my state.

  2. Emil, you are obviously not a commercial grower. Besides it being illegal and more likely to be enforced when a commercial grower doesn't follow the label it's also against the grower's best interest to kill bees. Pesticide that drifts from it's target might as well be dollar bills drifting away, with the tight profit margins growers operate under it's also a stupid practice. Sure there are some bad operators but they likely won't be in business long if they don't heed labels and protect bees. Many studies have found that it's the backyard growers who more often don't read labels and tend to over use pesticides.

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