Sunday, January 10, 2016

Neonicotinoids are killing his bees

Minnesota beekeeper: Feds must tighten rules on insecticide-coated seeds

Dan Gunderson · Moorhead, Minn. · Jan 6, 2016 Minnesota Public Radio

A new federal lawsuit led by a Minnesota beekeeper seeks to force the Environmental Protection Agency to label insecticide-coated seeds as a pesticide.

The change would curb use of neonicotinoid pesticides that beekeepers say are inadvertently killing their colonies. Neonicotinoids are widely used on corn and soybean seeds but are exempt from pesticide regulations.

Research shows the insecticide can harm bees and other beneficial insects. As the plant grows it takes up the insecticide along with nutrients and water.

That's effective for pest control because when a bug takes a bite of a plant it gets a dose of insecticide. But dust kicked up when the seeds are planted also carries the insecticide on the wind.

The insecticide-laden dust drifts onto hives and kills bees, said Jeff Anderson, a central Minnesota beekeeper and the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit filed Wednesday. "Spring and summer mortality that I have on my bees has just gone through the roof," he said.

(Continued here.)

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