Maryland’s Pollinator Protection Act of 2015
The Pollinator Protection Act (Senate Bill 163/House Bill 605) would require that any plants, seeds or nursery stock treated with neonicotinoid pesticides include a warning label. It would also ensure that consumers could no longer purchase neonicotinoid pesticides; they would be available for sale only to certified applicators, farmers or veterinarians.
Why Restrict Neonicotinoids?
There has been a tremendous amount of independently conducted, peer-reviewed, published scientific research by some of the world’s top scientists that have proven the impact of neonicotinoids. (For those of you that would like to learn more, please visit our show archives by clicking here.)
The sub-lethal effects of neonicotinoids prove that it truly is a “Disaster in the Making” as initially proven by Dutch Toxicologist, Dr. Henk Tennekes. His research concludes that it neonicotinoids are mobile in groundwater, the damage to the nervous system is cumulative and irreparable and due to the dose-time ratio, death is imminent. While industry consistently refers to Dr. Alex Lu’s last “Harvard Study” on bees, they completely overlook the fact that the bees still died.
There is also a current ban in the EU and efforts in other parts of the world to follow the EU’s lead. In the state of Maryland, according to Smart on Pesticides Maryland:
- Beekeepers have reported average hive losses of 30 percent or higher each year since 2006; in 2012, Maryland beekeepers lost nearly 50 percent of their hives. These numbers are not sustainable.
- Neonicotinoids threaten aquatic life. They have been linked to death of molting blue crabs and declines in macro-invertebrates.
- More than half of “bee-friendly” plants purchased at Home Depot, Walmart and Lowes stores in 18 cities across the U.S. and Canada, including in Maryland, had levels of neonicotinoids at sufficient levels to kill bees outright, according to 2014 Friends of the Earth study.
Are There Safe Alternatives To Neonicotinoids?
Yes, there are a myriad of alternatives! The pesticide industry strongly encourages people to read labels before applying any pesticide, so if you see that a product you are considering contains a neonicotinoid pesticide, consider these alternatives. You can also use an app that is available by clicking this link for the PRI Product Evaluator (available for mobile through iTunes store)
To view the entire list of Neonicotinoid Free Consumer Pesticide Products, please click this link.
Listen To The Interview
In this special series called “The Neonicotinoid View”, host June Stoyer and special guest co-host, Colorado beekeeper, Tom Theobald, talk to bee health advocates Bonnie Raindrop and Bill Castro about efforts in Maryland to restrict use of neonicotinoids by passing Senate Bill 163/House Bill 6055, The 2015 Pollinator Protection Act.
To listen to the interview, please press play on the video below.
Bonnie Raindrop is the Legislative Chair for the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association (CMBA). CMBA is a member organization of the Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition which has over 60 organizations who are working together to pass the Pollinator Protection Act in Maryland in the 2015 legislative session. She has been a beekeeper for 9 years.
Bill Castro is a full-time urban treatment-free beekeeper in Baltimore City who has been involved with bees in one way or another for nearly 40 years, and a military spouse. He owns and operates Bee Friendly Apiary. His love of nature and deep respect for honey bees has also been shared through volunteering in Baltimore City classroom education for school age children as well as speaking publicly to civic groups and garden clubs. He promotes honeybee stewardship and a chemical free environment.