Posted August 23, 2013
Last week, the EPA released new pesticide labels in an effort to protect bees and other pollinators by prohibiting the use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.
According to the press release, the new labels, available hereand here, will have “a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions.”  The labels will affect products containing the neonicotinoids: imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam.   Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said, “Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides.  The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts.”
In May, the EPA and USDA issued a report on honey bee health, “showing scientific consensus that there are a complex set of stressors associated with honey bee declines including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure.”  The “Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health” is available here. 
The state of bee health continues to be a topic of discussion in the news.  NBC News reports that concerns about the pesticides “have become more widespread since June, when tens of thousands of bumblebees were killed in an Oregon parking lot due to the improper use of a pesticide containing dinotenfuran.”  The European Commission is currently implementing a ban on the use of neonicotinoids.  Additionally, the environmental and consumer groups have filed a lawsuit against the EPA to limit the use of neonicotinoids.  A Reuters story on the lawsuit is available here.