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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In the Nation

Oregon Suspends Dinotefuran Use After Bee Kill

Tuesday, July 02, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Bischoff, ANLA
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Bumble BeeSALEM, OR - On June 27, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced a 180-day temporary use restriction for all plant applications – by professionals and non-professionals – of any pesticide product with the active ingredient dinotefuran.

ODA has implemented the restriction as a temporary, cautionary step, allowing it to complete its ongoing investigation of a bee kill incident that occurred in mid-June in the state. This unfortunate event, which ODA has determined resulted in the death of approximately 50,000 bumblebees, serves as a sobering reminder of the need to closely follow manufacturer and EPA-approved labeling.

Multiple Linden trees, in flower, were apparently sprayed with a dinotefuran pesticide. Initial reports suggest that this accident would not have happened if the appropriate site, plant, timing, and pest considerations had been taken into account.

Neonicotinoid insecticides, including dinotefuran, are important tools in defending trees and other plants in our landscape and natural areas against destructive insect pests. They are important in maintaining our fight against the Japanese Beetle and have been employed in the successful eradication efforts against Asian Longhorned Beetle; in protecting important ash trees from Emerald Ash Borer; and in saving Eastern Hemlocks from Hemlock Woolly Adelgid.

"Without neonicotinoids, the iconic Hemlocks of Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be gone,” said Dr. Richard Cowles, Agricultural Scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. "There’s an old carpenter’s adage that says ‘measure twice, cut once.’  That adage is a good one for insecticide applicators to think about -- read the label carefully multiple times before applying.”

For years, treatments with neonicotinoids have allowed growers, landscapers, and homeowners to protect valuable landscape trees, shrubs and plants from insect pests and invasive species. Protecting these plants reduces a homeowner’s energy needs, increases home values and, according to a recent USDA Forest Service Study, results in healthier and longer lives for the people who enjoy them.

The green industry is an important partner in the ongoing effort to protect our environment, our pollinators, and our chemical tools. Neonicotinoids, properly used, are an important partner in that effort, as well. However, be sure that the PEST you want to control is on the pesticide label for the LOCATION you are planning to treat. Registered pesticides that could negatively impact bees carry a bee hazard statement on the label. Please adhere to these restrictions listed on the label, usually found under "environmental or bee hazard” and remember – following the label is the law.

In a reaction to the Oregon action, the New Jersey Assembly introduced a bill, A. 4349, to ban all neonicotinoids for any use.

Click here for more details on this action by the ODA. For more information, contact Joe Bischoff, ANLA’s Director of Government Relations (jbischoff@anla.org) or Lin Schmale, SAF’s Senior Director of Government Relations (lschmale@safnow.org).


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