(The Hill) Sulfoxaflor’s use was temporarily barred after a lawsuit from beekeepers in 2015, but the EPA in 2016 changed its instructions for how to use the pesticide in a way designed to reduce the impact on bees. Cotton and sorghum were not included in the directive. The EPA’s Office of Inspector General wrote in a report last year that the agency did not have processes in place to determine how its emergency measures impact human and environmental health.
(São Paulo Research Foundation) A new study by Brazilian biologists suggests that the effect of pesticides on bees could be worse than previously thought. Even when used at a level considered nonlethal, an insecticide curtailed the lives of bees by up to 50 percent. The researchers also found that a fungicide deemed safe for bees altered the behavior of workers and made them lethargic, potentially jeopardizing the survival of the entire colony.
(Washington Post) The EPA 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.
(Imperial College London) Realistic exposures caused bumble bee to fly significantly shorter distances and for less time, reducing the area in which colonies can forage for food by up to 80 percent. Intriguingly, exposed bees seemed to enter a hyperactive-like state in which they initially flew faster than unexposed bees and therefore may have “worn themselves out”.
(VTDigger) “Bees and other pollinators are a crucial part of Vermont’s food system… If you care about these vital insects – and the farmers that grow our crops – you should also care about important legislation is making its way through Vermont’s House: Bill H.205.”
(EurekAlert/Penn State) “Sorghum plants have evolved to precisely emit compounds offering defenses against harmful predatory insects that threaten them, and yet these chemicals in their defenses don’t hurt beneficial insects.”