Several pesticides will now carry additional labeling that includes a honey bee and pollinators protection advisory box, in an ongoing effort to protect bees and other pollinators. University of Nebraska Extension educator, Keith Jarvi, told a group of farmers at a UNL crop production clinic in Atkinson recently that no one can put a finger on one single reason for a decline in bee populations. It is a combination of numerous things, according to Jarvi.
Last May, USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency released a comprehensive report on honey bee health. In the report, scientists noted that there is a complex set of stressors associated with bee declines, which include parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition, loss of habitat as well as exposure to pesticides.
EPA officials say that they continue to work with beekeepers, farmers, pesticide applicators and federal and state agencies to reduce pesticide drift and exposure on bees. Jarvi said that the new EPA bee box will appear on pesticide labels, promoting increased awareness of bee health and proper pesticide use.
This bee box announcement affects labels on products containing the neonicotinoids imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The new labeling will prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present. The labels discuss information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions.
The EPA is offering more information on the label changes and pollinator protection efforts on their website.
You can learn more by checking out the UNL Extension NebGuide, "Protecting Bees When Using Insecticides," or contact Jarvi at 402-584-2234 or email [email protected].
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