Beekeepers and others involved with dealing with colonies injured or killed by agricultural pesticides are encouraged to notify the proper authorities so that the incident can be recorded and data collected. This has not been easy in the past as the notification form is not easy to use, and generally, local agencies are either slow to respond, or even antagonistic when contacted. Moreover, incidents of reprisal are not uncommon, nor are charges of illegal chemical use by beekeepers uncommon. It’s not easy being a beekeeper in farm country, and often down right dangerous. As a result, EPA does not, and has not had a lot of information to work with when confronted with charges of bee kills and ag pesticides. And their response has been, mostly….What Bee Kills?

In order to make the process easier they have updated their reporting form in the hopes of getting more data. If you compare the old report to this one you will see it is easier to use…a tiny, tiny bit easier to use. But data is data.

If your bees experience a bee kill and you suspect, or know it has to do with agricultural pesticides take a look at the guidance form at the link posted here.

 

For your information, we are sharing an important announcement from EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA).

Attached is a new document that provides guidance for the inspection of alleged cases of pesticide-related bee incidents.  This guidance is a supplement to the national Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Inspection Manual.  It presents unique considerations that federal, state and tribal inspectors should examine when investigating bee deaths that may be related to pesticide use.  Please distribute this guidance to your state lead agencies and tribal pesticide programs and feel free to discuss implementation of this guidance with them.  We hope that using this guidance will make federal, state and tribal investigations of pesticide-related bee incidents more effective and efficient.  The guidance will also help beekeepers, growers, and other stakeholders better understand the inspection process and the challenges associated with these complex investigations.

Many thanks to all who contributed to the success of this effort, especially those in the Region 5 Land and Chemicals Division with staff from Region 5 Regional Counsel, Headquarters’ Offices of Pesticide Programs and Enforcement and Compliance Assurance and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as those in the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) and the Tribal Pesticide Program Council (TPPC) who reviewed a draft of the guidance and provided comments. 

The guidance will be posted on the FIFRA page that you can reach from http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/policies/monitoring/index.html.

For more information on the guidance, contact Julie Simpson, Chief, Pesticides, Waste, and Toxics Branch

Monitoring, Assistance, and Media Programs Division, Office of Compliance, OECA. (202) 566-1980

The issuance of this guidance is big step. It addresses one of issues that have been raised during our discussions within the PPDC workgroup.  EPA continues to address pollinator issues and soon, in concert with USDA, we will release our action plan based on much of the work that the workgroup has done or recommended. We hope that the momentum this milestone has created will continue because there is a lot of work yet to do, and we depend on your valuable insight to help us do it.

Bee Inspection Guide

 

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