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Proposed Bill Would Protect Bees From Harmful Chemical

Kathy Keatley Garvey / University of California
 

Kathy Keatley Garvey / University of California

The Pollinator Protection Act would require labeling of all retail plants and seeds that have been pre-treated with Neonicotinoid, a pesticide related to nicotine. 

Senators Ben Allen and Scott Wiener co-authored the bill. 

The bills authors say the chemical has been found to be a key factor in colony decline. Research shows it can impair the ability of bees to communicate, navigate and reproduce. Many bees have died after exposure to the pesticide.

Paul Towers is with Bee Smart California. He says many of the plants purchased at home and garden stores can be contaminated with the pesticide.

"These are unique products in that instead of just sitting on the outside of the plant, they're taken up throughout...the pollen, through the nectar...and that poses a real threat to any insect including our precious pollinators," Towers says.

The bill also aims to prevent overexposure and overuse of the chemical by keeping it out of the hands of individuals not properly trained on how to use it.

Sale of the pesticide would be limited to certified applicators, farmers or veterinarians.