New Bee label: coming in 2014 to a pesticide label near you

New Bee label: coming in 2014 to a pesticide label near you!

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Many SW Kansas residents have voiced concern over our local bee populations (or lack there of!). I have received calls from homeowners, not complaining, but actually rejoicing because they have spotted a honey bee or bumble bee in their yard! Its rare that I hear from someone who has found an insect and is super happy about it! Honey bees and other insect pollinators have been steadily declining because of habitat loss, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure. An estimated one-third of all food and beverages are made possible by pollination from honeybees and other pollinators. Pollination is worth more than $20 billion in agricultural production annually (http://www.usda.gov/documents/ReportHoneyBeeHealth.pdf).

Thanks to the outpouring of concern over bee decline in the last couple of years in the US, the government is taking action to help the bees  by creating this new label. The new “Bee hazard” label is simple, yet can be readily seen and recognized immediately by pesticide applicators. The new labels will not only sport the new “bee icon” (see above pic)  but will spell out  information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions for bees and other insect pollinators. The warnings are not limited to just honey bees, but encompass “bees and other insect pollinators”. This new label will be on products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.  Helping pesticide applicators be aware of the hazards is only part of the battle to save our pollinators. Creating pollinator friendly habitats around our homes, farms and businesses and being mindful of pollinators when using home or garden pesticides will also make a big difference to our little friends.

Click here to see the full bee label info graphic

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More info on the EPA’s new bee pesticide label:

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/c186766df22b37d485257bc8005b0e64!OpenDocument

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