Respite for the Bees
U.S. beekeepers lost 42% of their honeybees from April 2014 to 2015.This is the second highest loss ever recorded. Although Congress is frustrated with the conflicting research, it has asked President Obama to release a strategy to protect our pollinators within the next 2 weeks.
Although the U.S.D.A. finds no reason to restrict soybean seeds coated with neonicotinoid pesticides, the E.P.A. has recently restricted any new use of these pesticides accused by consumer groups for decimating the bee and pollinator population. This includes aerial spraying or any different application until all data is evaluated.
On April 2,a letter to chemical companies indicated any new use of clothian,dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam will not be approved any time soon. The manufacturers are asked to withdraw them from production or delete them from outdoor use. The E.P.A. admitted lack of sufficient data to determine the outcome of usage on bees and pollinators. Peter Jenkins, Center for Food Safety, says under federal regulation (F.IF.R.A), the E.P.A. should suspend existing use of these pesticides, pending a thorough investigation of impact of these pesticides on the environment. The outcry and demands from the public have retailers removing neonicotinoids from their shelves and have forced the E.P.A. and government agencies to seriously reconsider use in the future. Until the E.P.A. can prove these pesticides are safe for pollinators and the public, further use may be restricted all together.
Sources: Chemical and Engineering News, May 11 and May 16, 2015.