Beekeepers Fear Harmful Effects Of Pesticides

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Beekeepers say a new pesticide is killing bees. A group is asking the EPA to do more testing before using the pesticide, which was approved in 2003.

Vera Krischik is a researcher at the University of Minnesota. She says the pesticide, known as a Neoicotinoid, works kind of like an antibiotic.

“It’s the same thing with this new class of pesticides” she said. “You put it in the soil, and it gets picked up in the roots and goes throughout the plant.”

Over time, she said, it ends up in the pollen and nectar.

“The EPA really likes it, because it’s very non-toxic to humans,” Krischik said. “You don’t spray it. There isn’t drift. There seems to be a lot of positive things, but everyone overlooks the fact that it gets in very high levels of pollen and nectar.”

She said if you like cantaloupe, blueberries, apples, oranges, or almonds, you better like bees. Bess pollinate those plants.

Beekeepers are trying to stop the use of the pesticide.

“The whole argument is concentrated on genetically modified crops,” Krischik said. “They attach the pesticide right onto the seed. And there are much higher uses of it.”

Krischik said they are finding that there is very little forage out there for bees, and we have to start making bee habitats and preserves.

“So we are ending up with a lot of native and managed bees in the urban landscape, because there no more flowers out in the rural landscape.

Officials with the manufacturer of the pesticide, say they are confident the research will show that the product is safe for bees.

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