August 20, 2013. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new language for pesticide labels that is critically important for honey bee safety. This newly reworded language is intended for pesticide labels and products.
Please note the new pesticide label language prohibiting use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products [imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin and thiamethoxam] where bees are present.
In the May 2013 detailed scientific report furnished by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and EPA, honey bee health is of prime importance. The report concludes there are complex stressors involved in the immense drop of honey bee numbers that include habitat loss, parasites and diseases, poor nutrition and pesticide exposures.
EPA states in a communication to pesticide developers,
It is essential that these label statements are immediately implemented on the labeling of eligible products. If you do not address the labeling changes described in this letter, EPA will take appropriate action … If these changes are made in the expedited fashion described in this letter, we anticipate labels with the new language will be available for the ’14 use season.
The EPA letter also expects the labels to include an advisory box plus icon that clearly states information on exposure routes and precautions about spray drift.
Clearly printed warnings are to be added to labels. THE FOLLOWING LANGUAGE IS QUOTED EXACTLY:
Do not apply this product while bees are foraging. Do not apply this product until flowering is complete and all petals have fallen unless one of the following conditions is met:
• The application is made to the target site after sunset
• The application is made to the target site when temperatures are below 55˚F
• The application is made in accordance with a government-initiated public health response
• The application is made in accordance with an active state-administered apiary registry program where beekeepers are notified no less than 48-hours prior to the time of the planned application so that the bees can be removed, covered or otherwise protected prior to spraying
• The application is made due to an imminent threat of significant crop loss, and a documented determination consistent with an IPM plan or predetermined economic threshold is met. Every effort should be made to notify beekeepers no less than 48-hours prior to the time of the planned application so that the bees can be removed, covered or otherwise protected prior to spraying.
This is most important for bee safety and is expected to be strictly followed. Direct any questions or issues to the USDA or EPA.
Source: Western Farm Press
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