The Maryland House passed a bill this month that partially bans neonicotinoids, a pesticide that harms honeybees. Now only farmers can purchase neonics for their crops, but consumers will no longer be able to buy them.
Neonicotinoids were shown to play a role in the decreasing honeybee population in January, according to findings from the EPA. The EPA found that when the pesticide was applied to certain crops, it was harmful to bees. The pesticide would be present in nectar bought back to the beehive, which negatively impacted the hive resulting in a lower population of bees.
Managed honeybees, kept by beekeepers, are seeing rapidly declining numbers in the United States. Pesticides that have a negative affect on managed honeybees as well as wild pollinators are extremely dangerous, as 90 percent of wild flowering plants depend on animals for pollination. 75 percent of the world’s food crops also depend on animals for pollination.
Maryland will be the first state to place restrictions on neonics. Other states have attempted to impose similar measures but were unable to get their legislation to pass, or were only able to limit neonics on very specific plants. Some cities, such as Eugene, Oregon and Seattle, Washington have had better luck and successfully banned the use of neonics on city-owned land.
Several companies have taken their own steps to show the dangers of neonics. Lowes plans on removing these types of pesticides from their stores altogether by 2019, while Home Depot is going to require any plants treated with neonics to be labeled.
Hopefully this will only be the beginning of a larger movement of both states and cities, as well as the EPA, imposing stricter uses of pesticides.