Hawaii Attorney General joins lawsuit against pesticide that could harm bees

Image of honey bee boxes among palm trees.

(KHON2) The Hawaii Attorney General joined a multi-state coalition in an ongoing lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) improper use of the pesticide, sulfoxaflor. The Attorney General argued that due to its toxicity, sulfoxaflor poses risks to pollinators – like bees – that are essential to agriculture and the ecosystem.

Neonicotinoids pose undocumented threats to food webs

Image of corn field with "neonicotinoids" warning sign.

(PNAS) “One of the main lessons that emerged from Silent Spring is that we overuse pesticides at our own peril because human and natural environments are unquestionably linked. It is time to revisit these lessons given current use patterns of neonicotinoid insecticides… We contend that the efficient and well-documented transmission of neonicotinoids through tripartite food chains – plant to pest to natural enemy – combined with the diversity of nontarget herbivores on treated plants threatens entire food webs by disrupting arthropod communities and interactions.”

Kind is the first food brand to commit to buying ‘bee-friendly’ almonds

Image of almond blossoms with honey bee.

(Fast Company) The snack company Kind says it plans to source almonds only from “bee-friendly” farmland by 2025. Almond suppliers working with Kind are making two major changes. They’ve stopped using two types of pesticides – neonicotinoids and chlorpyrifos – that can kill bees. They will also convert between 3% to 5% of their orchards to a habitat that supports bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Beekeeper says nothing can be done to stop New Zealand bees picking up traces of glyphosate

Image of mānuka honey.

(TVNZ) The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) first found small traces of the chemical in 22.3% of samples it took from a range of different honey types from across the country. It later discovered further tiny traces in 11 of 60 mānuka honey products purchased from retail outlets. While MPI stresses it’s safe to eat and there is no food safety risk, they admit beekeepers have “little practical means of excluding bees from foraging on plants treated with glyphosate”, saying the only way to be sure is to place a hive in the centre of a 28 square kilometer spray-free area.

EU has failed to halt decline of bees and butterflies, auditors say

Image of honey bee on purple flowers.

(Reuters) The European Court of Auditors looked at the effectiveness of the European Commission’s framework of measures aimed at protecting species also including wasps and beetles – such as its 2018 pollinators and biodiversity to 2020 initiatives. Such policies do not really help with the protection of pollinators, auditors said. The auditors even found that EU rules on pesticides are a main cause of wild pollinator losses.

Honey bee lives shortened after exposure to two widely used pesticides

Image of honey bees of comb.

(Oregon State University) The lives of honey bees are shortened – with evidence of physiological stress – when they are exposed to the suggested application rates of two commercially available and widely used pesticides: sulfoxaflor and flupyradifurone. According to the researchers, this is the first study to investigate sub-lethal effects of these active ingredients.