Friday, March 25, 2016
Maryland close to banning household pesticides blamed for rapid decline in bee populations
"Neonicotinoids were introduced to agriculture in the 1990s and made available to the general public more recently because it was thought to be safer for bees than other pesticides," Fears writes. "They seep into plants rather than simply coating the surface. Although some researchers insist the chemical doesn’t cause bee mortality, other scientists are gathering evidence that it does. The Environmental Protection Agency launched a review to determine if several varieties of the insecticide have contributed to the collapse of bee colonies. Its findings are due in 2018." The Maryland Department of Agriculture has said there is little scientific evidence linking bee deaths to neonicotinoids.
If the legislation is signed into law, it could have national implications, Fears writes. "About a dozen other states are considering taking similar steps as bees die and honey production declines. Last year, honey production fell 12 percent among producers with five or more colonies, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey." (Read more)