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  • EPA bee-protective labels don't cut it | Honey Bee Haven
    And even if followed to the letter the labels fail to address a primary route of exposure through pre treated seeds Neonics are systemic permeating the plant including pollen and nectar and are commonly applied as seed coatings to widely planted crops like corn In short EPA s labels appear to be an empty gesture As Paul Towers PAN s media and organizing director said While it s good to see movement from EPA the new labels do little to address the problem of bee declines EPA s labels fail to acknowledge the unique properties of systemic persistent neonicotinoid pesticides and are practically unenforceable Based on scientific findings the European Union has implemented measures to remove bee toxic products from the market Instead of taking decisive action similar to policymakers across the pond EPA is offering toothless regulation And Towers notes EPA s efforts will only make matters worse by giving a false sense of acceptability for the use of these bee harming products Even at low levels neonicotinoids threaten bee health Studies show that extremely low dose exposures to the systemic pesticides undermine immunity rendering honey bees more susceptible to common pathogens EPA feeling the heat There is mounting pressure on EPA to protect bees from harmful pesticides Millions of concerned citizens have petitioned the agency as have beekeepers facing unprecedented colony losses And along with PAN advocacy organizations have put legal pressure on EPA to take decisive action in response to the imminent hazard posed by neonics Congress is even engaging on the issue with Representatives Conyers D MI and Blumenauer D OR recently introducing the Save America s Pollinators Act Similar to the E U policy this bill would remove common neonics from the market until proven safe for pollinators To date the agency has been unresponsive

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/epa-bee-protective-labels-dont-cut-it (2016-02-12)
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  • "Bee-friendly" plants? Think again. | Honey Bee Haven
    and everywhere We ve known for some time that use of neonics was widespread they re the most widely used class of insecticide in the world They re applied to more than 140 crops including much of the corn grown in the U S And now it turns out we can also find them on bee friendly plants like tomatoes Gaillardia and Salvia purchased at a local garden store The science is increasingly clear when it comes to neonics they ve been linked to massive bee kills and they can interfere with the brain functions that bees need to navigate forage and reproduce Especially in combination with other common pesticides and factors like habitat loss and pathogens neonics are a catalyst for bee declines My colleague Emily Marquez PhD and PAN s staff scientist put it like this Bees have enough troubles there s no need for home gardens to add to the problem Studies indicate that widespread use of systemic pesticides like neonicotinoids is contributing to major bee kills around the globe And even at doses that don t kill bees neonics weaken bee immune systems and impair critical brain functions making it hard for bees to find their food sources and return to the hive Retailers must do their part The results of this pilot study are worrisome They tell us that neonics may be hiding where we don t expect them But this information also creates new opportunities for action from consumers and retailers The results of this pilot study are worrisome They tell us that neonics may be hiding where we don t expect them Major garden stores like Home Depot and Lowe s have a responsibility to take neonics off their shelves and to ensure that the plants they sell don t come pre treated

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/bee-friendly-plants-think-again (2016-02-12)
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  • Buzz off, Monsanto | Honey Bee Haven
    are truly impressive Unfortunately Monsanto is not alone in its efforts Just this spring Bayer sponsored a tour of its specially wrapped beehicle and hosted a talk at Ohio State University in March over loud objections from local beekeepers Not here Look over there Industry has largely set its sights on one issue to blame for bee declines While lack of sufficient forage and diseases are a challenge to bee health and beekeeping challenges exacerbated by the weakening effect of pesticides on bees the pesticide industry has focused a large proportion of its attention on the varroa mite And it s an easy distraction that places the burden of unprecedented bee losses on beekeepers while subverting any blame for the widespread pesticide products Unfortunately for Monsanto Co and as most beekeepers and academics will say the varroa mite has been around a long time predating dramatic bee declines in U S that started in 2006 While mites no doubt affect bee colonies they are unlikely the primary driver of population declines There is a correlation however between the introduction of neonicotinoid pesticides or neonics on the market and bee die offs Independent studies show and beekeepers corroborate from hands on experience that these pesticides weaken bees immune systems likely damaging their resistance to common challenges like the varroa mite Neonics are one of the largest growth sectors for the pesticide industry And industry has a vested interest in keeping the neonic market growing But we know that spin efforts to refocus attention on varroa mites were already attempted in Europe and the approach has been largely unsuccessful The EU just put continent wide restrictions on the use of neonics in place Bees are still dying Pesticide corporations don t show any sign of letting up If this spring and summer

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/buzz-monsanto (2016-02-12)
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