Remember that post from a few weeks ago? No? That’s okay, I forgive you. Basically a pest control operator didn’t follow label recommendations and sprayed an insecticide on some flowering trees in a Target parking lot. The label specifically states to not use it when bees may be present (i.e. when the bloody plant is flowering) because it might kill bees. What happened? Bees died. A bunch of them. Depending upon where you look this can be 25,000 or 50,000. This number will depend upon the slant of the article/blog post that you’re reading.
So what do you think should happen? When we last spoke about this issue, there had not been a decision made. The company, state and company were trying to figure out what was going to happen. Would they sanction the company for not following the law? Would the company have to pay a fine? Would nothing at all happen and everyone could just ride off into the sunset and eat cookies? Well, apparently none of the above have happened yet. But what HAS happened is the ODA (Oregon Department of Agriculture) has placed a 180 moratorium on products containing dinotefuran (the active ingredient in the Safari product the company used) in the state. This appears to be only applicable to agricultural, turf, and ornamental products, not other products such as flea and tick treatments (which I’ve talked about before).
What does this mean? Well, the ban has been placed while the state assesses what to do. It seems silly but I can kind of understand it in a superficial, gotta keep politics-politics and keep the screaming masses happy sort of way. I’ve seen House of Cards, I know what’s up in the legislatures. But what does this mean for the bees? Probably not a whole lot really. Politicians will squabble. Activist groups who are split between those who understand science and those functioning on pure visceral reactions will bicker with said politicians and eventually nothing of consequence will be done. The question here isn’t so much “How do we keep the bees safe?” but rather “How do we make sure people are using these products APPROPRIATELY, SAFELY, and LEGALLY?” Come on people! If you’re going to spray something at least read the bloody label first.