Pollinator Policy Offers ‘Flexible’ Approach to Protecting Bees

From: Bloomberg/BNA

By Tiffany Stecker

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The Environmental Protection Agency finalized its policy on protecting honeybees from pesticide-spraying Jan. 12, placing restrictions on how farmers can use the pest-killers to avoid contact with bees used for pollination services. In these situations, farmers contract with beekeepers to rent hives in order to ensure bountiful crops of fruits, vegetables, legumes and other crops.

The final guidance is “more flexible and practical” than the proposal issued May 29, 2015, according to the announcement from the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs.

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Leave a Comment January 16, 2017

EPA Finalizes Bee Protection Plan

From: Pest Control Technology

The agency says its final Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products is more flexible and practical than the proposed policy.

Applications of acutely toxic pesticides would be prohibited under certain conditions when bees are most likely to be present.  While the restrictions focus on managed bees, EPA believes that these measures will also protect native bees and other pollinators that are in and around treatment areas.  New label language will protect managed bees under contract to provide crop pollination services.

Leave a Comment January 13, 2017

Banning Neonicotinoids is an Environmental Catastrophe

The European Union’s ban on neonicotinoids is causing environmental damage around in Europe and around the world through increased insect resistance, releasing massive quantities of carbon through increased agricultural use land, and increased water consumption for agriculture.  The following are key conclusions from the HFFA Research Report, “Banning Neonicotinoids in the European Union: An ex-post assessment of economic and environmental costs.” The complete report is attached here.

“All studies highlight that the ban on neonicotinoids has caused a yield decrease in oilseed rape production of the European Union. . . . On average, a yield depression of 4.0 percent for oilseed rape production in the European Union as a whole can be extrapolated from the studies.”

Leave a Comment January 12, 2017

Professor, students identify bacterium that may kill honey bees

From: University of Wisconsin – Stout

By University Communications

A University of Wisconsin-Stout biology professor and his students may have made an important discovery in the effort to determine why honey bee hives are dying out during the winters in the Upper Midwest.

Biology Professor Jim Burritt and his students have published research about a new strain of the bacterium called Serratia marcescens strain sicaria. With evidence of its killing power, they chose the name sicaria, which means assassin, and Ss1 for short.

Leave a Comment January 11, 2017

Regulatory Waiting Game: EPA to Release Decisions on Neonics as International Scrutiny Mounts

From: DTN/The Progressive Farmer

Emily Unglesbee, DTN Staff Reporter

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — The EPA has told DTN it expects to release a number of key documents on neonicotinoids in the coming weeks, after missing most of its 2016 registration review deadlines on this class of insecticides.

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“We expect to release in the next week or so preliminary pollinator-only risk assessments for the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran and also an update to the preliminary risk assessment for imidacloprid, which we published in January 2016,” the agency told DTN in an email. “Our strategy to reduce acute risks to bees will also be coming out shortly.”

Leave a Comment January 10, 2017

EPA Revises Neonicotinoid Review Schedule

From: DTN The Progressive Farmer

Emily Unglesbee, DTN Staff Reporter

Production Blog: As Deadlines Quietly Change, EPA’s Backlog Grows

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Somewhere between early December and the New Year, a little elf snuck into the EPA’s “Schedule for Review of Neonicotinoid Pesticides” and changed eight deadlines from 2016 to 2017.

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Last year, Marty Monell, the outgoing deputy director of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) confessed that the agency struggles more and more every year to hit deadlines. At a conference hosted by CropLife America in April, she spoke of a shrinking budget, Congressional hostility, and at least 16 active lawsuits tying up the agency’s time and resources.

Leave a Comment January 9, 2017

How NOT to Regulate Pesticides: EU, Canada Lessons for Trump (Part I)

From: MasterResource.org

By Paul Driessen

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Anti-pesticide activists have long sought to blame neonics for honeybee health problems of recent years. In 2013, their well-funded advocacy campaigns played a major role in pushing the EU’s decision-making European Commission to impose a two-year ban on using neonicotinoids on bee-attractive crops.

Not surprisingly, those two years have come and gone with no sign that the Commission will reconsider its position, despite accumulating evidence that managed bee populations are not now and never were in any danger of collapse or extinction. That evidence includes the EU’s very own 2014 and 2015/16 EPILOBEE studies, as well as nearly a dozen large-scale field studies from around the world.

Leave a Comment January 6, 2017

Assessment from the French Ministry of Agriculture on Bee Deaths: Varroa is Enemy #1

Editor’s Note: Translation from the French via Google Translate.

From: Mediaterre.org

A communiqué from the Biodiversity Network for Bees:

Assessment of the follow-up of bee deaths by the DGAL (Ministry of Agriculture)

Pathologies, poor apiculture practices and famine: the true causes of clearly identified bee mortalities

The 2015 conclusions of the official monitoring system for bee disorders by the Ministry of Agriculture are clear and unambiguous: health and nutritional factors explain the deaths of bees. We can therefore prioritize the factors by importance: 1- Pathologies 2- Beekeeping practices 3- Lack of food resources and 4- Phytosanitary products.

Leave a Comment January 5, 2017

App helps protect bees

From: Shepparton News

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council and Cotton Australia are calling on all farmers and beekeepers to use online tools to better communicate with each other to protect bees and crops.

Cotton Australia chief executive officer Adam Kay said the BeeConnected app facilitated communication between farmers and beekeepers as a tool to ensure crop protection was conducted safely, responsibly and according to label requirements.

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Leave a Comment January 4, 2017

Illinois beekeeper expands business, mentors

From: Illinois Farmer Today

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The larger threat is varroosis, caused by the Varroa mite, also called the Varroa destructor, he said. It can lead to the death of an entire honey bee colony.

“If you took away all the farm chemicals, bees would still be in trouble. We teach people not to point fingers at farmers for their troubles,” he said.

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Leave a Comment January 3, 2017

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