Oregon bee deaths prompt pesticide restrictions

06/26/2014 05:31:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

bumble beeOregon temporarily banned the use of four neonicotinoid insecticides on several species of residential trees after thousands of bees, including bumble bees, were killed.Once again, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has issued temporary rules to protect bees and other pollinators from pesticide products.

The ruling, which prohibits the use of four neonicotinoid insecticides on linden trees and other Tilia species, was prompted by multiple bee deaths this summer, according to a news release.

These tree species are covered with blooms in late spring that bees find attractive.

The regulatory action applies to all pesticide users, including professional applicators and homeowners.

This is not the first time that Oregon has had to restrict these products because of bee kills, either.

In 2013, the department adopted a state label on pesticides that contain the active ingredients barring their use on linden, basswood and other Tilia species.

Products that bare the older labels are still in distribution. The older labels just state the product is "highly toxic to bees exposted to direct treatment or residues."

Two recent large bee deaths—one in Eugene and one in Beaverton—involved imidacloprid products with the older labels.

To avoid any confusion, the department is simply banning use of any product that contains those active ingredients on linden, basswoor or other Tilia tree species.

The temporary rule will be in effect for 180 days to allow the department time to complete its investigation into the bee deaths and determine any future actions.

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