While Groups Pressure EPA on Neonics, Beekeepers Know There's More to the Problem

On September 24, a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity, submitted a letter to EPA urging them step up their review process of neonicotinoid insecticides and take significant and immediate steps to limit their use. A week letter, 60 Democrat members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including Congressmen Blumenauer (D-OR) and Conyers (D-FL), co-sponsors of legislation (H.R. 2692) that would effectively put a temporary ban on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, sent a similar letter to EPA, which included a call to suspend use on "ornamentals."

These messages followed a House briefing on the topic of neonicotinoids and bee impacts, hosted by Rep. Blumenauer. The briefing brought in some of the same NGOs that co-authored the EPA letter, suggesting a coordinated messaging effort by the NGOs and the co-signers of the congressional letter to EPA.

Unfortunately, in the hearing and in the letters to EPA there was little to no attention paid to the broad and complex challenges beekeepers face, and no beekeeper was included as a witness.

What we're learning is that our industry has an opportunity partner with beekeepers to identify practices that allow growers to respond to pest challenges while supporting pollinator health.

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