EPA’s Proposal to Mitigate Bee Exposure to Acutely Toxic Pesticides in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0818. EPA will accept public comments on the proposal starting May 29, 2015.
Proposed RestrictionsEPA is proposing to prohibit the applications of pesticides that are highly toxic to bees when crops are in bloom and bees are under contract for pollination services. These restrictions would prohibit application of most insecticides and some herbicides during bloom.
Growers routinely contract with honey bee keepers to bring in bees to pollinate their crops that require insect pollination. Bees are typically present during the period the crops are in bloom. Application of pesticides during this period can significantly affect the health of bees.
These restrictions are expected to reduce the likelihood of high levels of pesticide exposure and mortality for bees providing pollination services. Moreover, EPA believes these additional measures to protect bees providing pollination services will protect other pollinators as well.
The proposed restrictions would apply to all products that have:
- Liquid or dust formulations as applied;
- Foliar use (applying pesticides directly to crop leaves) directions for use on crops; and
- Active ingredients that have been determined via testing to have high toxicity for bees (less than 11 micrograms per bee).
The list of registered active ingredients that meet the acute toxicity criteria is included as Appendix A of EPA’s proposal.
At this time, EPA is not proposing changes to product labels for managed bees not being used for pollination services.