Friday, March 23, 2012

Beekeepers petition EPA to stop some pesticides

Beekeepers are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to stop the use of pesticides they believe are killing honey bees, Perry Beeman of the Des Moines Register reports. The petition follows the release of a report linking an insecticide used for coating seed corn to the mass die-off of bees, or colony collapse disorder. The beekeepers are asking EPA to suspend use of certain pesticides they believe are most harmful to bees and make sure similar chemicals aren't used in the future. Beeman reports more than a million people submitted comments as part of the petition effort. (Altoona Herald-Index photo)

"EPA has an obligation to protect pollinators from the threat of pesticides," petitioner Jeff Anderson of California Minnesota Honey Farms said in a statement. "The agency has failed to adequately regulate pesticides harmful to pollinators despite scientific and on-the-ground evidence presented by academics and beekeepers." The petition claims EPA knew for nine years that pesticide use was harming bees, but did nothing to regulate it. Beeman reports scientists think pesticide use is only one factor contributing to colony collapse disorder. Others are fungi, habitat loss and parasites. (Read more)

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