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Oregon bans some insecticides following bee deaths

By John Upton via grist.org

Bees and other insects can breathe a little easier in Oregon — for now. The state has responded to the recent bumbleocalypse in a Target parking lot by temporarily banning use of the type of pesticide responsible for the high-profile pollinator die-off.

For the next six months, it will be illegal to spray Safari or other pesticides [PDF] containing dinotefuran neonicotinoids in the state.

Oregon’s ban comes after more than 50,000 bumblebees and other pollinators were killed when Safari was sprayed over blooming linden trees to control aphids in a Wilsonville, Ore., parking lot. A similar incident in Hillsboro, Ore., was also cited by the state’s agriculture department as a reason for the ban.

Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba said in a statement [PDF] that she has directed her agency to impose the ban to help prevent further such “bee deaths connected to pesticide products with this active ingredient until such time as our investigation is completed. Conclusions from the investigation will help us and our partners evaluate whether additional steps need to be considered.”

Somewhat confusingly, retailers will still be allowed to sell the products. It will just be illegal for landscapers and gardeners to actually use them. From The Oregonian:

“We’re not trying to get it off the shelves, or trying to tell people to dispose of it, we’re just telling people not to use it,” said Bruce Pokarney, a spokesperson for the department of agriculture.

While Pokarney acknowledged it would be difficult to cite individual homeowners, he said licensed pesticide applicators would be violating Oregon regulations if they use dinotefuran-based insecticides on plants in the next 180 days.

The temporary ban only affects pesticide use that might harm pollinators, like bumblebees. Safari is one of the insecticides restricted by the Agriculture Department. Most of the restricted insecticides are used primarily for ornamental, not agricultural, pest control.

Dinotefuran use in flea collars, and ant and roach control will still be allowed.

The Xerces Society, a nonprofit insect conservation group that’s helping to investigate the pollinator die-offs, thinks the temporary ban is a good idea. But Executive Director Scott Black said it would be an even better idea if sales of the pesticides were suspended, lest consumers unwittingly use them in violation of the law. “At a minimum, all products on the shelf should have clear signage about the restriction on their use,” he told Grist.

Guess who thinks the ban is not such a good idea?

“We do not believe the scope of these measures is necessary with the information available,” Safari manufacturer Valent said in a statement, “and we will work to get the restrictions lifted as soon as possible.”

[read original article on grist.org]

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MR. BUMBLE
Honey I Washed the Kids soap & Honey Bee Bath Bomb ? by LUSH

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NATIVE BEES

1. Macropis nuda.
2. Agapostemon texanus. US sweat bee
3. Peponapis pruinosa. Squash and gourd bees
4. Bombus impatiens. The Impatient Bumble Bee
5. Osmia lignaria. The Blue Orchard Bee
6. Hylaeus sp.
7. Habropoda laboriosa. The Southeastern Blueberry Bee
8. Xylocopa varipuncta. The Valley Carpenter Bee
9. Bombus morrisoni. Morisson’s bumble bee
10. Perdita minima.
11. Xylocopa virginica. Eastern Carpenter Bee
12. Bombus vosnessenskii.
13. Bombus affinis.
14. Megachile sp. Leafcutter bees
15. Andrena cornelli. Miner bees
16. Anthophora centriformis. Digger bees, or anthophorids
17. Nomada sp. The Wandering Cuckoo Bee
18. Augochorella pomoniella. Sweat bees

[click here to read more via pollinator.org]

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[via teetoo] “Bumblebee on a blue lupin in my garden”

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VIDEO: by vkgoeswild

“I like the joke on the bumblebee;
His wings are too small to hold him.
He really can’t fly, professors agree
But nobody ever told him.”

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Bee Basics (from Bug Girl’s Blog)

“A beautiful publication was recently released by the USDA Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership:
Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees by Beatriz Moisset and Stephen Buchmann.

“The full-color 40 page booklet is jam-packed with information about how representative bees of 3,500 species inhabiting the US and bordering areas make a living, which flowers they visit, whether they nest underground or in hollow stems or wood. The diversity of bees is examined along with notes on their wasp ancestry. The lives of leafcutter, mason, bumble bees, miners and others is explored…. Tips for easy things gardeners, home owners and naturalists can do to protect and conserve bees and their flowers are given. “

It is about as nice an introduction to basic bee biology as you could ask for, with the bonus of beautiful artwork.  If you haven’t downloaded your free copy of the PDF, get with the clicking!!”

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Bumble-bee lips by Paige Thompson

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Photo by teetooblog.blogspot.com

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