Recent State and Federal Measures to Protect Honey Bees in the U.S. Timothy M. Drake Jr., Ph.D. Department of Pesticide Regulation Clemson University

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1 Recent State and Federal Measures to Protect Honey Bees in the U.S. Timothy M. Drake Jr., Ph.D. Department of Pesticide Regulation Clemson University

2 Concerns About Pollinator Protection Starting , unusually large losses of hives in the US and Europe (around 33% annually). Once considered primarily an agricultural issue, this has broadened to include ornamental pest control.

3 Why is Pollinator Protection Important? - Honeybees pollinate most agricultural crops, contributing to production of 90% of the world s food supply. - Commercial beekeeping adds more than $15 billion to US economy. - Essential to economic viability of US agriculture. - Pesticides seem to be part of the decline problem.

4 What is Causing A Decline in Colonies? Nutritional Stress: Forage habitat reduction and modification Inadequate forage / poor nutrition Bee management stress Potential immune-system reduction due to above Pathogens and Parasites of Bees: Varroa mite Gut parasitic fungus Nosema Several virus diseases of bees No single pathogen is consistently associated with the decline.

5 What Is Causing The Decline? Pesticides: Bees are exposed to many pesticides. Multiple studies in USA and Europe show a mixture of pesticides found in bees, wax, and stored food (pollen). Average number of pesticides found: 2.5 in bees; 7.1 in pollen (bee bread and trapped pollen); 8.0 in bee wax.

6 What is Causing the Decline? Systemic neonicotinoids (e.g. imidacloprid) are of much concern (very toxic to bees and are systemic). Frequency and quantity of pyrethroids also pose a hazard to bee colonies. Pyrethroids bio-accumulate in wax and bees due to high fat solubility. In wax, 312 of 340 samples had pyrethroids and only 6 had neonictinoids. (Penn State Univ.)

7 What is Causing the Decline? Pyrethroid prevalence and persistence in the hive is likely to have more impact on colony survival than neonicotinoids. (Penn State Univ.) Sub-lethal impact of insecticides are of concern. Pyrethroids shown to disorient foraging behavior of honey bees. Other sub-lethal impacts being researched with single pesticides and in combinations.

8 What is Causing the Decline? Prevailing consensus is that pollinator decline is caused by multiple interacting factors. Pesticides very likely are involved in the decline to some extent.

9 Labelling Measures For Protection The labels for neonicotinoids say: Do not apply this product while bees are foraging. Do not apply this product to plants that are flowering. Only apply after all flower petals have fallen off.

10 Labelling Measures For Protection The U.S. EPA is developing a PR notice proposing to expand the pollinator protection label language to include other active ingredients besides neonicotinoids (e.g. pyrethroids?). Product Registrants are aware that label changes may need to be made and are responding quickly to EPA requests for pollinator protective language on existing and new product labels. At this time, most of these are advisory statements.

11 It is obvious that conventional field crop agriculture and bee keeping are essential to food production in the U.S. The two must coexist in a mutually beneficial relationship.

12 Cooperation and Co-existence Bee keeping is part of agriculture Agriculture needs bee keeping Both need to thrive in the U.S.

13 State Lead Agencies Regulate the use of pesticides Investigate reports of bee kills In a unique position to aid the cooperation/co-existence Can partner with Apiary Inspection, Extension, Applicators, Industry Regulatory role with applicators train, license, inspect

14 Recent SLA Initiatives Provide guidance on bee kill investigation methods Promote dialog between bee keepers and crop producers Develop recommendations Take specific actions, application violations SLN and Section 18 approvals for specific situations (Hop Guard, etc.)

15 National Bee Kill Investigation Guidance Developed through AAPCO/SFIREG with USEPA Assistance Based on experience of apiary inspectors/pesticide misuse inspectors in the US. The guidance will aid in standardizing bee kill inspections across federal and state agencies when trying to determine if the bee kill is related to the use of a pesticide and if that use is the result of FIFRA violations.

16 National Bee Kill Investigation Guidance Recommends protocols for investigation -Includes examination of hives and bee yards -Inspection of nearby or potential pesticide use areas -Includes standardized sample collection protocols Can be used for training of inspectors Will aid in identification of pesticide misuse problems and national data collection

17 National Bee Kill Investigation Guidance Contains recommendations for communication and cooperation between beekeepers and growers Developed through multi-stakeholder discussions Includes Best Management Practices for beekeepers, growers, applicators

18 Regulatory Agencies Are Promoting Dialogue Five states have taken deliberate action to improve communication and cooperation between beekeepers and growers: North Dakota Colorado Mississippi California Florida

19

20 Mississippi Honeybee Stewardship Program -Contains recommendations for communication and cooperation -Developed through multi-stakeholder discussions (MS Beekeepers Association, MS Farm Bureau Federation, MS Agricultural Aviation Association, MS Agricultural Consultants Association, MS Dept. of Agriculture and Commerce, MS State University Extension)

21 Mississippi Honeybee Stewardship Program Includes a recommendation for a Bee Aware flag to notify growers/applicators of hive locations

22 Florida s Efforts to Enhance Initially became necessary because of citrus psyllid and transmission of citrus greening in Florida citrus groves. Increased large-scale pesticide treatments were necessary. Communication

23 Florida s Recommendations Developed through dialogue between bee keepers and growers Recommended increased cooperation between the bee keepers and growers Asked for some formalization of relationship between grower and bee keeper in order to delineate actions each will take to reduce risk Based on recognition of vital need for both industries to survive and thrive

24 Florida s Recommendations Unique situation bee keeping in citrus groves Most citrus does not need pollination Bee keepers value citrus honey production Citrus under severe disease threat due to ACP Without effective control of ACP citrus industry could cease to be viable in a few years Overall tree decline, eventual tree death

25 Florida s Recommendations Bee keepers: -Formalize agreement with growers in writing -Do not place hives without this agreement -Identify locations of bees to grower and cooperate in placement of hives -Register with DACS/DPI and use bee mapping tool -Minimize time in the area to maximum bloom period -Be prepared to move bees to holding area when notified -Keep grower informed of activities and notify immediately if there are any problems

26 Growers: Florida s Recommendations -Use formal agreement with bee keepers -Use FDACS/DPI bee mapping tool to identify bee keepers in your area -Use pesticides properly -Keep bee keeper informed of grove activities -Notify bee keeper of planned applications -Provide holding area for bees -Report unknown bee yards to FDACS/DPI -Participate in the Citrus Health Management Areas program

27 Bee Mapping in Florida Has successfully been agreed upon by growers and bee keepers. The purpose of the Apiary/Citrus Industry Link is to promote and simplify communication between the two industries by providing owner contact information for citrus groves and bee hives. The success of this mapping application will depend on the willingness of bee keepers to report their bee hive locations. Bee hive locations are often considered valuable trade secrets. Therefore, the exact bee hive location will not be shared publically. Instead, the bee icon created for this application represents a list of bee hives within a one-square-mile block of land.

28 Bee Mapping in Florida This symbol will appear on an aerial mapping image within a one-mile block containing active honey bee hives

29 Florida s Recommendations

30 New National Initiatives US Presidential Administration has approved funding (USDA) for initiatives related to stopping honey bee colony decline. US EPA is considering adding specific honey bee inspection requirements to State Lead Agency work plans. Association of American Pesticide Control Officials, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and The Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials have started multi-state initiatives to improve communication among bee keepers, growers, pesticide registrants, and the US EPA.

31 In South Carolina: Department of Plant Industry is developing a honey bee hive mapping database (similar to Florida s) County Extension and Mosquito Control Districts are working together to avoid spraying hives. Department of Pesticide Regulation is communicating with aerial applicators and mosquito control officials to determine how best to lower impact of aerial applications of insecticides on bees Bee keepers are encouraged to contact the Department of Pesticide Regulation if pesticides are suspected in any bee kill.

32 Questions?

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