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Have you heard the latest bee buzz?

on Tue, 05/03/2016 - 16:21

Yesterday, the "Pollinator Protection Act" took a big step forward in the California legislature, moving closer to becoming state law. This is just one of many positive developments for bees in recent weeks. As public momentum to protect vital pollinators continues to build, cities, states and businesses are getting in gear — even as federal policymakers continue to come up short. 

States stepping up

In the face of strong opposition from the citrus industry lobby, the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282, Leno-Allen) passed out of the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee on

EPA: Finally connecting the dots?

on Mon, 02/01/2016 - 23:55

More than 20 years after neonicotinoid pesticides hit the market, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released its first assessment of the impacts on honey bees. Looking at one neonic in isolation — Bayer's imidacloprid — the agency acknowledges some harm to bees. But it's still missing the big picture.

EPA's assessment concludes that "imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators." The agency points specifically to citrus and cotton, where pesticide residues above EPA's acceptable level were

A win for bees

on Thu, 12/03/2015 - 19:19

The California State Beekeepers Association was buzzing about pesticides at their annual convention in Sacramento last week. And with good reason.

Just days before, EPA took the rare step of banning a bee-toxic insecticide. For an agency that has been really slow to take meaningful bee-protective action, dragging out both scientific analysis and much needed policy shifts, this was a very welcome move.

The agency's decision to pull sulfoxaflor — manufactured by Dow — was largely a response to litigation brought on by beekeepers.

USDA suppressing bee science?

on Thu, 12/03/2015 - 19:12
Earlier this week, a top researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a complaint alleging that the agency retaliated against him for his research on bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides — and for blowing the whistle on USDA interference with his research.

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren has worked at USDA's Agricultural Research Service lab in Brookings, South Dakota for 11 years. His peer-reviewed research on neonicotinoids (neonics), and their impact on pollinators, has been widely published and has received accolades from his contemporaries.

USDA, however, appears to be less

Court sides with bees, says no to pesticide

on Thu, 12/03/2015 - 19:00

Last week, the federal courts took a stand for bees and beekeepers. In their written decision, the judges said EPA had approved a new neonicotinoid pesticide — sulfoxaflor — without adequate review. The court ordered the Dow product be pulled from the market.

The judges also took EPA to task for saying yes to the pesticide despite strong evidence showing that the pesticide was “highly toxic” to bees. This is a real and important, much-needed win for pollinators.

Greg Loarie, the lead attorney for the national beekeeper groups that brought the suit — Pollinator Stewardship Council, American

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