Maryland To Become First State To Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

There’s no question that pesticides have become a serious threat for biodiversity, affecting all of wildlife on the planet. Honey bee colonies have possibly suffered the most damage so far. This not only implies that we are losing record high number of bees, but, it also means that the pollination of crops is seriously affected.

In an attempt to give bee colonies a chance for recovery, Maryland has become the first of all American states to put an end to bee-killing pesticides.

The Reality of Bee Killing Pesticides

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey, in 2015, the average loss of bee colonies of beekeepers was 60%, which is almost 20% more than the national average. The study also found that Maryland saw the highest bee colony decline in all of America.

The root cause has been linked to an excessive use of toxic pesticides, although other contributing factors have also been found. Neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides, have been identified as the most serious threat for bee population. They affect the central nervous system of insects paralyzing and killing them.

There’s more evidence supporting the link between pesticides and the rapid demise of bee colonies. According to an EcoWatch report, a global review of 1,121 independent studies carried out by 29 independent scientists found overwhelming evidence of pesticides linked to bee declines. The review identified bee-killing pesticides in products including Knockout Ready-to-Use Grub Killer, Ortho Bug B Gon, Lesco Bandit Insecticide, and All-In-One Rose & Flower Care.

The prohibition bans the use of pesticides on private property, county property, as well as in nurseries and garden centers. Plus, it prohibits sales of these products in the country.

Maryland is the first and so fat the only state to successfully introduce the ban, although a number of other states including California, Alaska, New York, and Massachusetts have all made attempts to reduce or ban neonicotinoids.

Fighting the Ban

Unfortunately, the ban hasn’t been readily accepted by all. So far, five Montgomery County lawn care businesses and seven residents have filed a lawsuit against the prohibition. According to the plaintiffs, pesticide use on private property should be allowed provided that the products have been approved by the state’s Department of Agriculture and the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The private property ban will come into force on January 1st, 2018, whereas the country property ban has already been imposed.

The video below provides more detail about the state of honey bee colonies at present:


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