Kimberly A. Stoner
Department of Entomology, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut
Stoner’s article is a must read for anyone using pesticides at home—especially neonicotinoids. The article dives into the best practices associated with pesticide use in order to protect the bees. Pesticides often pose a threat to other organisms in the area of application, therefore by only using pesticides when absolutely necessary, applying them properly, and being aware of the unintended consequences will help preserve bees and other non-targeted organisms. Stoner’s article is a handy guide on the correct ways to use pesticides that will help preserve the bees and other organisms.
Bees are important pollinators in the natural environment. We must be aware of the consequences of pesticide treatments on pollinators and the environment. Neonicotinoids—systemic insecticides—are especially dangerous to bees and other pollinators because neonicotinoids can remain active in plant tissue until bloom time. The insecticide can trans-locate into nectar and pollen and easily be absorbed by bees and other pollinators. Pesticides should only be used to carefully treat pest problems so there is no environmental contamination or off-target insect toxicity. If we are not careful with how we use these chemicals now, it may disrupt the population of pollinators.
Bees play a major role in pollinating seed, nut, and fruit crops, and as well as plants in natural environments. All bees, including honey bees, bumble bees and wide diversity of native bees, are highly sensitive to insecticides. There are a number of things to consider when using insecticides to help protect these important pollinators.