EPA’s first neonicotinoid assessment confirms risk to bees

EPA says chemical neonicotinoids can harm bee colonies in certain situations

image of honey-bee
A widely used neonicotinoid insecticide poses a risk to honey bees, EPA said.

The Environmental Protection Agency said today in a “pollinator risk assessment” that imidacloprid, a popular neonicotinoid pesticide, poses a significant risk to honeybees — but it failed to examine risks to nearly 4,000 North American native bees and all other pollinators, including imperiled butterflies, bats and birds.

” You can’t claim to do a ‘pollinator risk assessment’ and really only look at one pollinator, the honeybee,that’s not only cheating on the purpose of this work but also cheating the native bees, birds, butterflies and other species threatened by this pesticide. In fact, many of these other pollinators are even more vulnerable to neonicotinoids than honeybees. ”
said Lori Ann Burd, Environmental Health director at the Center for Biological Diversity “

Today’s analysis indicates that for some crop uses, honeybees can be exposed to imidacloprid at concentrations that negatively affect the health of the hive. But a recent Nature study found that wild bees are more sensitive to the acute toxic effects of neonicotinoids — specifically that neonicotinoid seed coatings reduce wild bee density, solitary bee nesting and bumblebee colony growth. The EPA did acknowledge that bumblebees are affected by the pesticide at much lower levels than honeybees, but it nonetheless failed to properly assess the risk.

Continue reading EPA Concludes Neonicotinoids Pose Risk to Bees, Fails to Analyze Other Pollinators, biologicaldiversity, January 6, 2016.

WSJ press release:EPA Says Insecticide May Pose Risk to Bees, Jan. 6, 2016.

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