Banning the killer

Think like a bee is involved with a legislative bill in the New Mexico senate this month which would regulate neonicotinoids. In case you don’t know, the European Union, due to beekeeper pressure, has already banned neonics, given their surging bee kills from this class of chemicals.

Here’s the facts:

Bees and other pollinators are vitally important and at risk

• Bees and other pollinators contribute $18-27 billion to the U.S. food economy every year and are responsible for an estimated one out of every three bites of food.• New Mexico is home to more than 1000 species of native bees• Bees and other pollinators are critical for crops including alfalfa, potatoes, tomatoes and tomatillos. They are also necessary for the survival of many native plants.• Six of New Mexico’s 19 species of bumble bees are threatened with extinction. • Honeybees are also suffering high losses. During the winter of 2019/2020, New Mexico beekeepers reported 47% colony loss

Neonicotinoids threaten bees and other pollinators also.

• Neonicotinoids are highly toxic to bees, and even low levels can have subtle yet severe impacts such as making them more susceptible to disease, delaying development, impairing their ability to collect food and limiting reproduction.

• Neonicotinoids put bees in direct risk of exposure as they contaminate the pollen and nectar of beehives

Neonicotinoids persist in the environment for months. Harmful levels of neonicotinoids can remain in bee attractive flowers the year after an application.

• Neonicotinoids are the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide. They are registered for use throughout our communities in home gardens, lawns and even in flowerbeds designed to attract pollinators. They are also registered for use on a number of bee-attractive crops.

This New Mexico Senate Bill would:

Ban sale and use of neonicotinoids for residential use

Create labeling requirements for flowering plants or products that have been treated with neonicotinoids

Require licensure for application of neonicotinoids in commercial agriculture

Require continuing education for licensed applicators every two years

Require development of educational and outreach materials about impacts to bees and other pollinators, best practices to avoid adverse impacts and

New Mexico Senate Bill would not:

Apply to neonicotinoid products intended for indoor use

Apply to neonicotinoidproducts intended for treating lice or bedbugs

Apply to neonicotinoid products intended for parasite control in pets

Apply to wood products treated with neonicotinoids

•The science is clear. Neonicotinoid use is harming bees and other beneficial insects. Federal pesticide regulation on neonicotinoids has lagged for more than a decade and fails to address New Mexico’s unique water and wildlife concerns. A state specific solution to reduce the risk of neonicotinoids can respond to the needs of our agricultural community while still taking steps to ensure needed protections.

Contact me for more information to contact your legislator next week and request that this be passed!

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