EPA Releases Four Neonicotinoid Risk Assessments for Public Comment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published preliminary pollinator-only risk assessments for the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran and also an update to its preliminary risk assessment for imidacloprid, which we published in January 2016. The updated imidacloprid assessment looks at potential risks to aquatic species, and identifies some risks for aquatic insects.

The assessments for clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran, similar to the preliminary pollinator assessment for imidacloprid showed: most approved uses do not pose significant risks to bee colonies. However, spray applications to a few crops, such as cucumbers, berries, and cotton, may pose risks to bees that come in direct contact with residue. In its preliminary pollinator-only analysis for clothianidin and thiamethoxam, the EPA has proposed a new method for accounting for pesticide exposure that may occur through pollen and nectar. Continue reading

Insecticide application timing vital to native bee conservation

Many homeowners may grimace at the sight of grubs, caterpillars or other pests lurking in their lawns, but understanding when and how to apply an insecticide to control these pests could have a big impact on native pollinator populations, according to a researcher from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

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Protecting bees while planting corn and soybeans

From Corn and Soybean Digest

There are concerns with possible bee kills from the use of neonicotinoid seed treatments when planting corn. The neonicotinoids, when applied to the seed, get mixed with the talc that is used to allow seeds to flow more easily in the planters, and then the insecticides plus talc enter the environment during planting or when the seed boxes are cleaned. This “dust” can settle on flowering plants and weeds that bees will use for forage, or perhaps contact the bees or nearby hives directly resulting in bee mortality.

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Bees next battleground for ag pesticides

From Southeast Farm Press

The next big battle — which could have a major impact on agricultural pesticides — is already under way.

It involves a tiny crop pollinating insect, the honeybee, and to a lesser extent its larger cousin, the bumblebee.

It could have a significant impact on pesticides available to agriculture and how those materials are used, including a potential requirement that pesticides be applied only at night when there is no bee activity.

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