Are Neonicotinoid Pesticides Killing our Bees?

Neonicotinoid pesticides are killing bees around the world, but many places are now beginning to ban these pesticides. (Image: healthnulady/Wickimedia Commons)
Neonicotinoid pesticides are killing bees around the world, but many places are now beginning to ban these pesticides. (Image: healthnulady/Wickimedia Commons)

Pesticides are used all the time in agriculture and applied to plants and trees in gardens and parks. Bees and other pollinating insects play a vital role in food production. With the numbers of honey bees and other pollinating insects on the decline, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is stepping in.

The widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides has been under scrutiny in recent years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it was unlikely to approve new or expanded uses of certain pesticides while it evaluates the risks they may pose to honey bees.

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stated: “The decline is due to a number of factors, including pesticide and herbicide use, habitat loss, and disease.”

The EPA notice came the day after Oregon’s largest city suspended the use of the pesticides on its property to protect honey bees, Reuters said on their website.

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They went on to say: “The unanimous vote by the Portland City Commission came despite protests from farmers, nursery owners, and others who claimed the insecticide was crucial in combating pests that destroy crops and other plants.” Portland is among at least eight municipalities that have banned the chemicals.

There are six types of neonicotinoids that the EPA will be assessing and how they affect honey bees.

It is expected that four of the evaluations will be completed by 2018 and then a year later for the remaining two.

Neonicotinoids banned in EU: How they harm bees:

The agency in a statement said that the reason for the assessment is the “ongoing effort to protect pollinators.”

But they have also said that they would review the suspension “if a significant new pest issue should arise that may be uniquely addressed by one of these chemicals.”

It will be good when we can have our agriculture and not destroy the environment in the process.

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