Pesticide Labeling: Protection of Pollinators

On May 29, 2015, the EPA published its Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products. This seven-page fact sheet outlines the highlights from this policy and its proposed restrictions, which would prohibit applications of pesticide products that are acutely toxic to bees during bloom where honey bees are known to be present under contract for pollination services. Written by Frederick M. Fishel, James Ellis, and Gene McAvoy and published by the Agronomy Department.

Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides

Figure 1. The western honey bee, Apis mellifera, collecting nectar from a flower.Protecting honey bees and other pollinators from pesticide impacts is important to the sustainability of agriculture. Consequently, pesticide applicators must determine if there is a clear hazard to managed or wild populations of bees. Potential exposure of bees to pesticides can vary greatly depending on the type of pesticide, formulation, application method, label restrictions, and other factors. The goal in using a pesticide is to achieve maximum benefit (success) with minimum negative impact, and these factors should always be considered in pesticide selection. This publication is written (1) to help assure the sustainability of both bees and agriculture by informing beekeepers, pesticide users, and the general public about the often complex relationship between pollinators (specifically bees) and pesticides, (2) to offer guidance for improved communication between beekeepers and pesticide users, (3) to offer pollinator risk-reducing strategies for growers and other applicators when using pesticides, and (4) to provide clarity in laws, labeling, and associated definitions. This 14-page fact sheet was written by J. D. Ellis, J. Klopchin, E. Buss, F. M. Fishel, W. H. Kern, C. Mannion, E. McAvoy, L. S. Osborne, M. Rogers, M. Sanford, H. Smith, P. Stansly, L. Stelinski, and S. Webb, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, March 2014.

Blue Orchard Bee, Osmia lignaria Say (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) (EENY549/IN982)

Figure 1.  Male Osmia lignaria visiting a crocus flower in early spring in Ontario, Canada.The blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria Say (Fig. 1), is a solitary mason bee native to the west coast of the United States and Canada. It is of great interest for use as a native pollinator of fruit trees and blueberries, and is easily managed due to its favorable biological characteristics. Blue orchard bees can be purchased online for pollination, and they are shipped as pupae ready to emerge in the spring. This 4-page fact sheet was written by Alden Estep, Catherine Zettel-Nalen, and James Ellis, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, March 2013.