Guidelines for Reporting Pesticide Incidents
SUBJECT: Transmittal of Guidance for Inspecting Alleged Cases of Pesticide-Related Bee Incidents
FROM: Lisa Lund, Director
Office of Compliance
I am pleased to distribute the attached
guidance for inspecting alleged cases of pesticide-related bee incidents in
time for spring and summer incident investigations. 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. I request that you distribute this guidance to your state lead agencies and tribal pesticide
encourage you 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 and help beekeepers , growers, and other stakeholders better understand the inspection process and the challenges associated with these complex investigations.
Strengthening our investigation of bee incidents through the implementation of this guidance is an important element of the U.S . Environmental Protection Agency's Pollinator Protection Strategic Plan. This plan includes working collaboratively with beekeepers, growers, pesticide manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, states and tribes to enhance pollinator protection.
The development of the guidance was led by Region
5 Land and Chemicals Division with staff from Region 5 Regional Counsel , Headquarters' Offices of Pesticide Program
s and Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In addition, the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation
Group (SFIREG) and the Tribal Pesticide
Program Council (TPPC) reviewed a draft of the guidance and provided
If you have any questions or comments on the guidance, please contact
Ed Messina, Director of the Monitoring, Assistance and Media Programs Division at (202) 564-2300, or have staff contact Carol Galloway, OC at (913) 551-5092, or Margaret Jones, Region 5, at (3 12) 353-5790.
Download Guide Here
It could cost more to get food on your table if farmers let wild bees go
Senator Boxer Introduces Pollinator
Protection Amendment to the Senate Farm Bill
By Larissa Walker, Policy and
Campaign Coordinator at Center for Food Safety
May 31st, 2013
Next week Congress comes back
from recess and the Senate will resume debates on the Farm Bill. While
there are a number of possible amendments we have our eye on this year,
especially those pertaining to the labeling of genetically engineered food,
support for organic farmers, and a repeal of the "Monsanto Protection Act,”
there’s one amendment in particular that we’re expecting to receive a ton of
buzz: Senator Boxer’s pollinator protection amendment.
Over the past decade, honey
bees and other pollinators have been suffering record-high population losses. Given that one in every three bites of food is
reliant on bees and other species for pollination, the decline of pollinators
demands swift action; our agricultural economy, food supply and environment
depend on their well-being. Thankfully, Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA)
introduction of amendment (S. 1027) to the Farm Bill would be a step in the
right direction towards protecting honey bees and other pollinators if passed.
What exactly would
this amendment require the government to do?
of Propolis to Honey Bees: Does Propolis Reduce Levels of Viruses in Larvae?
University of Minnesota
We proposed two research objectives: 1) to
test if there is a correlation between colony health and propolis collection in
European-derived honey bees, and 2) to compare the immune systems of African-
and European-derived colonies that have been enriched or deprived of a propolis
envelope in the nest cavity.
Read Final Report Here
Monsanto Found Guilty of Chemical
Poisoning in Landmark Case
A French farmer who can no
longer perform his routine farming duties because of permanent pesticide
injuries has had his day in court, literally, and the perpetrator of his
injuries found guilty of chemical poisoning. The French court in Lyon ruled
that Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller formula, which contains the active ingredient
alachlor, caused Paul Francois to develop lifelong neurological damage that
manifests as persistent memory loss, headaches, and stuttering during speech.
Reports indicate that the
47-year-old farmer sued Monsanto back in 2004 after inhaling the Lasso product
while cleaning his sprayer tank equipment. Not long after, Francois began
experiencing lasting symptoms that prevented him from working, which he says
were directly linked to exposure to the chemical. Since Lasso’s packaging did
not bear adequate warnings about the dangers of exposure, Francois alleged at
the time that Monsanto was essentially negligent in providing adequate
protection for its customers. Read More
President Randy Verhoek
May 24, 2013
Bret Adee and myself are again out in DC on behalf of the Honey Producers
as the Farm Bill progresses. First of all I have some good news to report on the
creation of the Boxer Bee amendment. The passing of this amendment
1. create an interagency task
force on bee health and commercial beekeeping;
2. encourage a more proactive
approach to protecting pollinator health at USDA, Department Of Interior and EPA; and
3. require feasibility
studies for modernizing one current ARS honey bee research laboratory and
establishing one new ARS pollinator research laboratory.
Please call your senators and support the passage of this important
legislation as this is the foundation we can use to build upon for solving
honeybee health challenges now and in the future. Please call
your senators today!
full Boxer Bee Amendment
Also amongst the amendments lurking in the Farm bill is a worrisome piece
of legislation that concerns us that has to do with imported treated seed where
the pesticides coated on this seed would be completely unregulated. We simply cannot allow this to pass especially
given the fact that there are documented cases where these toxic coatings have
Seed Senate Amendment SA- 984
Please Call your Senators Now!
May 23, 2013
Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Holds Confirmation Hearing on
the Nomination of Penny Pritzker to be Secretary of Commerce
Let me ask you one other quick
question, if I might. One of the areas under your purview is going to be the
administration enforcement of anti-dumping laws and the laws intended to
prevent domestic industries from being destroyed by imports that are sold here
at unfairly low or dumped prices.
Commerce Department determines the
precise amount of duties that must collected to increase the price of dumped
imports to a non- injurious (ph). And -- estimated, $400 million to $500
million in anti-dumping duties build on four different types of agricultural
imports from China have remained uncollected. And even though their payment is
secured by specialized single-entry customs bonds, which are referred to as
"new shipper bonds," that were issued by well-known U.S. insurance
The question is, will you commit to
provide Congress with the full accounting of all the new shipper bonds that
secure anti-dumping duties on these agricultural imports from China and a plan
for collecting the unpaid dumping duty secured by these bonds?
So, Senator, I'm not, per se, familiar
with exactly what you're discussing. I know what anti-dumping is, but I will
look into it, and I will commit to work with you on this issue.
There are a number of honey» producers
in South Dakota would be very happy to hear that answer -- a lot trans-shipped
«honey» from China. And the enforcement mechanisms that are available to
prevent that don't get effectively utilized. So we would welcome your help with
that particular issue.
Well, making sure that, not just «honey
producers, but our American companies are on a level playing field, and that
our laws are not being skirted is an important objective. And if I'm confirmed,
I will work on that.
OK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Click Here for Flyer
MORE THAN HONEY
June 12 – June 25
Directed by Markus Imhoof
Born into a family of beekeepers,
Imhoof (THE BOAT IS FULL) tackles the vexing issue
why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve
a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California
and Australia. Exquisite
macro-photography of the bees in flight and in
(on a par with
of MICROCOSMOS) reveals a fascinating, complex world
in crisis. Writes
Eric Kohn in Indiewire: "Imhoof captures the breeding
queen bees in minute
detail, ventures to a
witness a bee
brainscan, and discovers the dangerous
prospects of a hive facing the
infection of mites. In
this latter case, the camera’s magnifying
power renders the infection
in sci-fi terms, as if we’ve
stumbled into a discarded scene from David Cronenberg’s THE FLY.” This is a
strange and strangely moving
film that raises questions of species survival in cosmic as well
as apiary terms.
"Calamity for Our Most Beneficent Insect: Every beekeeper, small
or large, hobbyist or commercial, knows that honeybees
are in trouble. Over the past decade, bee colonies
have been dying in increasing numbers. Perhaps
many as half the hives kept by commercial beekeepers died in
2012. The loss has
created a crisis among fruit and
vegetable growers, who
depend on bees to pollinate their crops.”
– From an editorial in The New
York Times (April
MORE THAN HONEY (2012, 91 mins.) Written and
Directed by Markus Imhoof. Produced by Thomas Kufus,
Grasser, Pierre-Alan Meier, Markus Imhoof. Camera: Jörg Jeshel,
Attila Boa. Editor: Anne
Fabini. Music: Peter
Scherer. Sound: Dieter Meyer,
Bernhard Maisch. Narrator:
Austria / Switzerland. In English, German, Swiss-German,
with English subtitles.
A Kino Lorber Release.
209 West Houston Street (West of 6th Avenue)
Box Office: 212-727-8110 www.filmforum.org
Daily Showtimes: 1:00, 2:50, 4:40, 6:30, 8:20, 10:10
Advance Screenings Thursday, May 30 at
June 5 at 11 a.m.
For more information
or to RSVP to a screening, please contact:
Click HERE to see our Executive Board in action in Washington, DC!
From AHPA Leadership in Washington,
far so good on the Farm Bill. The
American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) has been working hard on behalf of
beekeepers across the United States.
While AHPA has a broad federal policy agenda, the topic of the day is the
Farm Bill, and we thought we would take a moment to catch you up to speed on our
activities and successes.
April of this year, AHPA sent a letter to Congress emphasizing the issues facing
honey producers and crop pollinators around the country, and seeking to bring
into greater focus the particular challenges beekeepers face as bee health
continues to decline, quality forage disappears and the lone federal disaster
assistance program, ELAP, expires right when beekeepers need
it most. The April letter built upon our
2011 letter, which laid out a broader list of Farm Bill priority items,
including maintaining a strong federal commitment to research through the
pollinator protection and specialty crop research programs at USDA, supporting
beekeeper losses through the Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program for
Honey (ELAP), encouraging
establishment of a national standard of identity for honey, extending
the marketing loan program for honey, and
addressing forage concerns through federal conservation programs.
have linked a copy of those letters and attachments here.
AHPA Farm Bill Letter
last week, members of the AHPA Executive Board travelled to Washington, DC and
spent three days meeting with Senators and Congressmen, congressional staff, and
officials at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and The United
States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Board Members spoke about the
industry’s Farm Bill issues as well as other pressing matters such as
anti-dumping duty collections, trade enforcement, H-2A workers, and pesticide
and environmental challenges for pollinators.
timing could not have been better. Less
than a week later both the Senate and House reported their respective Farm Bills
out of Committee -- Tuesday in the Senate and Wednesday in the House. The Senate will bring its bill to the floor
next week and the House will give final consideration to its bill in June.
are pleased to announce that the entire AHPA Farm Bill agenda has been included
in the 2013 Farm Bill!
is a summary for your review, but before you read, don’t forget to call your
Senators and Congressman and express support for final passage of the Farm Bill
with all honeybee-related provisions in tact!
The legislative process is not over.
We need your voices to be heard if we are to bring this across the finish
of Honey and Beekeeper Provisions in the 2013 Farm Bill (as of May 16,
Supplemental Agricultural Disaster Assistance Program for
enacted in the 2008 Farm Bill, this provision was de-funded at the end of 2012,
causing great concern to beekeepers across the country who had suffered severe
bee losses. AHPA successfully advocated
for inclusion of the program in both the Senate and House Farm Bills. The Senate version now includes $15 million
per year for the program and the House includes $20 million per year. We will work with Congress to achieve a final
number of $20 million per year, which by USDA estimates will be adequate to
cover beekeeper losses under the program.
Importantly, both the Senate and House bills are retroactive and will
therefore, if enacted, cover FY’ 12 losses as well as future losses.
Program / Honey Bee Forage:
It is no
secret that conservation land is on the decline and that which is still around
does not provide adequate honey bee forage.
AHPA has been working with USDA and Congress to improve conservation land
for honey bees over the past year.
During the Senate Committee mark-up, Senators Heitkamp (D-ND) and
Gillibrand (D-NY) spoke on behalf of beekeeper forage concerns and offered an
amendment to require USDA to give priority consideration to honey bee forage in
all USDA conservation programs. Senators
Klobuchar(D-MN), Brown (D-OH), Cochran (R-MS) and Stabenow (D-MI) all supported
our amendment in committee. They each
deserve a big thanks. While the House
does not yet have a comparable provision, we are working with our friends in
that chamber now.
Honey Bee Research
the only way out of the woods for beekeepers affected by Pollinator Health
Decline and Colony Collapse Disorder is robust federal research. For that reason, AHPA maintains a constant
dialogue with the Agricultural Research Service and has worked hard in Congress
to get programs authorized in the Farm Bill and funded by the appropriators,
especially programs at the Agricultural Research Service and the National
Institutes of Food and Agriculture. AHPA
was able to secure in this Farm Bill authorizations through FY ’18 for research
on bee health and Colony Collapse Disorder.
These authorizations are in addition to other USDA bee research and are
in the following yearly amounts: $10
million for research and extension grants; $7.25 million to increase USDA
capacity and infrastructure to address CCD; $2.75 million for honey bee pest and
pathogen surveillance. Additionally,
both the Senate and House bills include "specialty crop pollinators” as an
eligible category for mandatory research funding at the National Institutes of
Food and Agriculture. That research will
be funded over the next 5 years at a range between $30 and $65 million per year
with pollinators receiving some portion of it.
of Identity for Honey
long fought for a national standard of identity for honey to aid in trade
enforcement activities against China and to better ensure only pure
unadulterated honey makes it to the packers and onto retail shelves. While it is ultimately up to the FDA to
establish such a standard, AHPA was able to secure in the Senate Farm Bill a
provision requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to report to FDA explaining why
a national standard of identity is in the interest of consumers, the industry
and US agriculture. This should help
advance the issue.
Based on increased production
costs and prices, Congress included in past Farm Bills a marketing loan program
for honey. AHPA advocated to keep that
program in place in this Farm Bill. The
marketing loan rate is established at 69 cents per pound in each of the House
and Senate bills, which is consistent with past years.
the Senate and House bills make their way to the floor, AHPA will continue,
through our Washington counsel, to advocate for improvements in the bill. And as soon as we turn the page on the Farm
Bill, we will work with congressional appropriators to get federal honey bee
research programs the funding they deserve.
us help you by calling your members of Congress today! Sharing those calls and e-mails with us will
enable follow up on your behalf.
AHPA Exec Board Visits Washington DC
The American Honey Producers Association Executive Board made an
official trip to Washington DC to meet with many congressmen, senators and
their staff members by attending 38 scheduled meetings in three days. We spoke
with them about issues relating to provisions in the Farm Bill such as
extending the ELAP program, trade and customs issues and duties collections, and
pushed hard for more funding for labs to study CCD, pollinator health decline,
pesticide issues, and environmental effects on pollinators. We also met with the
directors and staff of the USDA ARS labs to implore the need for research on
pollinator health decline. As a direct result of this meeting USDA ARS has now
hired a full time toxicologist in the Baton Rouge, LA lab to focus on honey bee
A HUGE "Thank You" to the members that were able to
attend: Randy Verhoek-President, Darren Cox-Vice President, Cassie
Cox-Executive Secretary, Mark Jensen-Legislative Chairman and Past President,
Joe Sanroma-Board Member, Steven Coy-Board Member, Ryan Cosyns-Board Member,
Richard Adee-Past President, John Waits-Attorney, and Eric Silva-Attorney.
AHPA-Making An Impact In Washington,
Bees bring new buzz to Capitol Hill
By DAVID ROGERS | 5/13/13 11:31 PM EDT
the farm bill help save the bees? Can the bees help save the farm bill from
only-in-Washington drama that opens Tuesday and Wednesday as the Senate and
House agriculture committees mark up their new five-year plans, which are worth
tens of billions of dollars to American farmers over the next decade.The powerful crop insurance
industry and old-line commodity lobbies like rice, cotton and corn will be at
the table defending their share. But the big newcomer is the bee, which has
been disappearing in record numbers and become a symbol of much that is haywire
in the current system.
the number of honeybee colonies in the U.S. fell by nearly a third this past
winter according to government data released last week. That’s a big jump from
the prior winter and the latest evidence of a steady decline that recently led
Europe to impose new pesticide restrictions — alarming corporations like
Germany’s Bayer AG with major operations in the U.S. Read More
the RoboBee: Tiny hovering robot creates buzz
robotic flies of identical design are shown alongside a US penny for scale,
demonstrating that the manufacturing process facilitates repeatability and mass
production. Courtesy of Kevin Ma, Pakpong Chirarattananon
The successful controlled flight of the tiny RoboBee –
designed by a team at Harvard –represents a key step in the development
of insect-size drones with a range of potential uses.
Pete Spotts,Staff writer / May 2, 2013
A robotic fly with a body not much taller than a penny
standing on edge has taken to the air, passing its tests with flying colors.
The RoboBee, as it's called, is the smallest artificial insect yet flown,
according to the team that built it.
It lifts off
the table, hovers, and flies in different directions. At this point in its
evolution, the bug is still tethered by thin wires that allow its designers to
power and guide it. And landing remains an issue. The robot ends its sorties
with all the grace of a mosquito nailed with a burst of Raid.
Still, the tiny
craft's success – the team that designed it said it was the first such object
to fly in a controlled manner – represents a key step in developing insect-size
drones that designers say could one day search collapsed buildings for
survivors after a disaster, sample an environment for hazardous chemicals
before humans are sent in, or pinpoint enemy soldiers or terrorists holed up in
urban areas. Read More
hold the sticky solution to bee colony collapse
that live off the same sweetener found in soft drinks could be more vulnerable
to the microbial enemies and pesticides believed to be linked to catastrophic
collapse of honeybee colonies worldwide, a new study suggests.
identified a compound found in the wall of plant pollen that appears to
activate the genes that help metabolize toxins, including pesticides, according
to the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of
pollen winds up in the honey produced by Apis mellifera, these bees used
to pollinate crops spend more time sipping on the same sugar substitute that is
ubiquitous in processed foods – high-fructose corn syrup. The honey substitute
is an important way for the industry, which contributes about $14 billion to
the U.S. economy, to make ends meet.
Report from the National Pollinator Defense
March the Florida citrus groves experienced an acute foliar poisoning that
resulted in severely damaged colonies. Oranges had an early bloom this year,
and were still blooming (as of 4-19-13). One beekeeper’s bees suffered
due to the drift application of Montana 2F from a neighboring grove.
1000-1500 colonies were killed, while 10,000-13,000 colonies suffered severe
damage. Queen failures are being observed as of the end of April.
were sprayed with an insecticide during the bloom, while bees were actively
foraging. Reports from the field state Montana 2F insecticide was applied
during daylight hours to the citrus bloom, with jugs of Montana visible in the
field. The foliar application directions for citrus as stated
on Montana 2F’s label clearly states, "Do not apply during bloom or within 10
days prior to bloom or when bees are actively foraging.” (pg. 30, Montana 2F
label, Rotam North America, Inc.)
region 4 has inquired concerning this recent incident. The Material
Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for Montana 2F state, "Harmful to
honeybees by direct contact, but no problems expected when not sprayed into
flowering crop or when used as a seed treatment.” (pg. 3, Material Safety Data
Sheet, Montana 2F) In that one sentence
from the MSDS, " . . . but no problems when not sprayed into
flowering crop . . .” the directions are confusing. The EPA has no definitions for the label
terms. To date, the EPA will not provide
definitions when the definitions have been requested repeatedly over several
decades. Beekeepers across the U.S. have been working with the EPA to
make labels readable, understandable, and comprehensible to all who need to
read them. It is especially important to understand a product label so
the use or restrictions are not violated, and that no one is harmed: the
applicator, the grower, the beekeeper, the bees, and the environment.
2013 a meeting was held with beekeepers and growers where they have all agreed
to work toward a solution.
and EPA Release New Report on Honey Bee Health
WASHINGTON, May 2, 2013-The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a
comprehensive scientific report on honey bee health. The report states that
there are multiple factors playing a role in honey bee colony declines,
including parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide
"There is an important link between the health of
American agriculture and the health of our honeybees for our country's long
term agricultural productivity," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary
Kathleen Merrigan. "The forces impacting honeybee health are complex and
USDA, our research partners, and key stakeholders will be engaged in
addressing this challenge."
"The decline in honey bee health is a complex problem
caused by a combination of stressors, and at EPA we are committed to
continuing our work with USDA, researchers, beekeepers, growers and the
public to address this challenge," said Acting EPA Administrator Bob
Perciasepe. "The report we've released today is the product of
unprecedented collaboration, and our work in concert must continue. As the
report makes clear, we've made significant progress, but there is still much
work to be done to protect the honey bee population."