The State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group (SFIREG) met this week virtually. This group serves as a platform for EPA and states to work through problems encountered in the regulation of pesticide products. An issue of interest to the lawn and landscape industry has been a topic of discussion at the past couple of meetings dealing with charges of widespread misuse of pesticide products within the beekeeping industry.
“It is sad and alarming, but this issue exists among all parties involved in managing pollinators, from manufacturers and distributors, to retail establishments and the end users of these pesticide products. There is a prominent culture of encouraged negligence in the promotion of certain products over others because they are interpreted as similar enough to products that have the correct label language but have a cheaper price tag. The mentality of, “wink wink, it is OK” and “it’s the same as the other expensive stuff, just cheaper”, runs rampant throughout the industry. This practice of negligence is harmful to the misinformed beekeeper, apiary inspectors who inspect hives without proper notification, and registrants that have properly formulated and labeled products. The practice also promotes resistance in the pests that are being targeted and jeopardizes the all-natural honey crop that is being produced.
Beekeepers are adamant in their demand that all applicators in agricultural and landscape businesses strictly follow all restrictions and advisory language on pesticide labels, yet some of the most prevalent and egregious misuse of pesticide products may be taking place by some within their own industry. This misuse of pesticide products puts the beekeepers and the products that they produce at an increased risk of exposure and ultimately, can result in illegal pesticide residues in their honey, and decreased pollinator health.” Read the entire position paper here.