WASHINGTON — In an effort to protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.
“Multiple factors play a role in bee colony declines, including pesticides,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The Environmental Protection Agency is taking action to protect bees from pesticide exposure and these label changes will further our efforts.”
The new labels will have a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions. Affected products contain the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
The EPA will work with pesticide manufacturers to change labels so that they will meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act or FIFRA, safety standard.
In May, the USDA and EPA released a comprehensive scientific report on honeybee health, showing scientific consensus that there are a complex set of stressors associated with honeybee declines, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition, and pesticide exposure.
The agency continues to work with beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, pesticide and seed companies, and federal and state agencies to reduce pesticide drift dust and advance best management practices.