Category: Past Front Page Box Archive

EPA Blocks a Dozen Products Containing Pesticides Thought Harmful to Bees

EPA Blocks a Dozen Products
Containing Pesticides Thought
Harmful to Bees

By Dino Grandoni

Washington Post

May 22, 2019

A volunteer checks honeybee hives for queen activity as part of a collaboration
between the Cincinnati Zoo and TwoHoneys Bee Co., in Mason, Ohio.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)


The Environmental Protection Agency is pulling from the market a dozen products containing pesticides known to be toxic to a linchpin of the U.S. food system — the honeybee.

The agency announced Monday it has canceled the registrations of 12 pest-killing products with compounds belonging to a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids, as part of a legal settlement.

For years, beekeepers and wildlife conversationalists alike have voiced concern that the widespread use of neonics, as the chemicals are commonly called, is imperiling wild and domesticated bees crucial to pollinating commercial fruit, nut and vegetable crops. 

The Trump administration’s action was welcome news to some environmentalists. “Certainly we have a ways to go,” said George Kimbrell, legal director at the nonprofit advocacy group Center for Food Safety, whose lawsuit prompted the EPA’s action. “But it’s an important first step in acknowledging the harm they cause.”

The EPA has pulled other neonics from market before, agency spokesman John Konkus said in an email. But close observers of the agency say such actions are rare.

“For the EPA to pull a previously registered pesticide is a pretty major step,” said Mark Winston, a professor of apiculture and social insects at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, B.C. “It’s not something they do very often.”

The decision follows five years of litigation in which the beekeepers and environmentalists pressed the agency to mount a response to the use of neonics as regulators in Europe and Canada have taken steps toward banning the chemicals.

Finally, at the end of 2018, three agribusinesses — Bayer, Syngenta and Valent — agreed to let the EPA pull from shelves the 12 pesticide products used by growers ranging from large-scale agricultural businesses to home gardeners. The legal settlement also compels the EPA to analyze the impacts of the entire neonic class on endangered species.

Two of the pesticide makers, Bayer and Valent, say their products are tested and safe to use, noting that the environmentalists and beekeepers won their case on the technical grounds that the EPA did not follow the right steps under the Endangered Species Act when registering their products.

“Neonicotinoids are rigorously tested before going to market to ensure they can be used safely and effectively,” said Steve Tatum, a spokesman for Valent, which makes four of the delisted products.

Bayer noted its two products targeted by the EPA action are not sold in the United States. But spokesman Darren Wallis added: “Growers rely on these critical pest-management tools because of their performance against destructive pests, as well as their favorable human and environmental safety profile.”

Concern over neonics has grown since 2006, when beekeepers first started witnessing the sudden and mysterious collapse of honeybee hives across the nation.

Researchers have shown the compounds to be harmful to bees in laboratory tests. But they have had less luck pinning down the pesticides’ effects on beekeepers’ colonies when they go about their work pollinating apple orchards and other farms.

In his second term Barack Obama, who had earlier approved installing a beehive on the South Lawn of the White House, launched an initiative to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators.

But Rebecca Riley, legal director of the nature program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that the agency has failed often in the past to adequately consider the potential impact of its pesticide approvals on endangered animals — something every federal agency is supposed to do.

“EPA for years has been ignoring this requirement of the law,” she said.

That has led to a number of lawsuits, such as one the NRDC filed in 2017, asking a federal court to vacate the registrations of nearly 100 products that contain one of several insecticides that are harmful to various bees, butterflies, birds and insects. That case remains unresolved, even as the separate Center for Food Safety case led EPA to pull some pesticides from the market.

“This is a win for both the rule of law and also for bees, birds and other wildlife impacted by these pesticides,” Riley said of the latest case. “But the reality is there are hundreds of pesticide products on the market. So, this is important … but it does not get rid of the danger.”

Brady Dennis contributed to this report.


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Washington State Beekeepers Now Protected from Civil Liability

Washington State Beekeepers Now Protected from Civil Liability

Gov. Inslee signs House Bill No. 1133, May 7, 2019. Relating to limiting liability for registered apiarists. Primary Sponsor: Strom Peterson


May 7, 2019, Olympia, WA: Today Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a bill which grants liability protection to beekeepers. House Bill 1133 passed the House by a vote of 96-0 and passed the Senate by a vote of 47-1.

The new law grants protection from civil liability to beekeepers who register with the state Department of Agriculture as beekeepers and who abide by all city, town, or county ordinances regarding beekeeping. These rules usually relate to the placement of hives or how many hives can be hosted per square foot or per acre. A beekeeper would not be protected if it is determined that the beekeeper acted with gross negligence or willful misconduct. 

The idea for the bill came from a Puget Sound beekeeper who suggested beekeepers should have some liability protection under law. The Washington State Beekeepers Association (WASBA) legislative team researched the topic and found Virginia and West Virginia have laws limiting beekeeper liability, but their laws require observing a large list of rules written by their state departments of agriculture. “We felt Washington beekeeping is so diverse, from folks who have one hive in their backyard to those who operate commercially with thousands, that no single set of rules could properly regulate all the beekeepers” said Tim Hiatt, WASBA legislative chair. “So we pushed for and achieved a law that says beekeeping, on the face of it, is protected from liability, under certain reasonable circumstances.”

Beekeeping is protected in agricultural areas under the state’s right-to-farm law (RCW 7.48.305) only as far as such activities are “reasonable” and not a “nuisance” or to cause “substantial adverse effect” on the public. The standard for beekeepers under the new law is that their beekeeping may not constitute “gross negligence or willful misconduct.” The new law will appear in RCW 15.60.

“This success represents two years of grassroots efforts from the beekeepers of Washington state,” said Hiatt. “They are to be congratulated for their advocacy on behalf of bees and beekeepers. And they can now rest assured from the threat of lawsuits.” The law, as signed by the Governor, can be found at

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Next GGLBA Meeting Tuesday December 10th, 2019 7:00pm

December Meeting – 2019


December 10th @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm


Join us at the Saint Mary’s Community Library on Tuesday, December 10th, from 7-9pm.  Everyone’s welcome!

The December meeting will be a festive event with a silent auction benefiting the clubs bee yard to obtain newer, current and matching hardware. Honey from the club bee yard will be available for purchase with sales proceeds also going towards the update of the club bee yard.

Items for the silent auction are welcome for donation.

Everyone has been asked to bring a snack and or beverage to share.

 We will conduct normal club business and enjoy a wonderful speaking event featuring Dr. Scott Cohen.

Dr. Scott will be speaking on the subject “Honey & Health”.


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Another fine queen supplied by Ray Moeller Honey Farm

Comment from a GGLBA member:
“Another fine queen supplied by Ray Moeller Honey Farm…”

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Mike Doseck presented beekeeping at the Garden Swap and share event at the St Marys Community Public Library

GGLBA promoting beekeeping in the community:

Mike Doseck recently spoke about beekeeping at the “Gardeners Swap and Share” event at the St. Marys Community Public Library May 8th.

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Ty Shelby gives beekeeping presentation at the Primrose Retirement Community in Findlay Ohio

GGLBA members are active in promoting beekeeping in the community:

Ty Shelby gave a beekeeping presentation to the Primrose Retirement Community in Findlay May 8th.

Great job, Ty!

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Pollen Color Chart

The busy bees are bringing many different colors of pollen into the hive.

Here is a chart to help identify the sources.


Pollen Color Chart


The thumbnail pic below shows one of the several pages linked above



Wikipedia list of pollen sources

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Bees Flying and Feeding March 23rd 2019

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Congrats to Club Member Lynn Moeller!

Our very own Lynn Moeller won first place at the Tri County Beekeepers Spring Workshop for her Grizzly Bear Pie!  To see her award winning recipe click here.

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4-H OSBA GGLBA TCBA Beekeeping for Beginners

4-H OSBA TCBA Beekeeping for Beginners

Mike Doseck interviews James Barnhart 2016 Clock Trophy for beekeeping winner at the Ohio State Fair from Carroll County Tri County Beekeepers Association and Kayla Lennartz 2016 Ohio State Fair finalist as well as 2018 Clock Trophy for beekeeping winner from Mercer County Greater Grand Lake Beekeepers Association. The purpose of this video was for young 4H students to view and offer encouragement to pursue beekeeping as a project.

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