EPA’s Proposal to Protect Bees

​On May 29, 2015, the EPA issued a proposal to protect bees from acutely toxic pesticides. As stated in the announcement, “EPA is proposing to prohibit the application of pesticides that are highly toxic to bees when crops are in bloom and bees are under contract for pollination services. These restrictions would prohibit application of most insecticides and some herbicides during bloom.” The criteria used to determine which products would be prohibited from use during bloom were 1) Liquid or dust formulation as applied; 2) Foliar use (applying pesticides directly to crop leaves) directions for use on crop; and 3) Active ingredients that have been determined via testing to have high toxicity for bees (less than 11 micrograms per bee). To see the details of the proposal including the list of active ingredients that would be affected by this proposal, go to www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/csb_page/updates/2015/protect-bees.html

These proposed changes have the potential to drastically alter pest management practices for insect pests that must be controlled when crops are blooming, particularly those that bloom over an extended period of time. EPA is accepting comments from interested parties for a period of 30 days after the announcement. Growers who are concerned about the possible effects of these restrictions are encouraged to comment to EPA at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0818.

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