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The condo complex I live in just did a large 'bee kill' with pesticides. You can help tremendously by publishing facts about the extreme importance of NOT killing bees, and the critical population decline there is in Connecticut and everywhere... S.K.

Answer

The condo complex I live in just did a large 'bee kill' with pesticides. You can help tremendously by publishing facts about the extreme importance of NOT killing bees, and the critical population decline there is in Connecticut and everywhere... S.K. Over the last ten years or so there has been a rapid and significant decline of honeybee population everywhere. In the last five years it is estimated that over 40% of the bee population in the US has disappeared. Studies have also shown a similar decline in the wild bumble-bee population as well. This is particularly significant because of the crops that make up the world's food supply up to 80% are pollinated by domestic and wild bees. Scientists worldwide are aggressively working on finding the cause of "Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)" as it has been called. There are a number of factors all believed to be contributing: increased use of pesticides, parasites fatal to bees and shrinking bee habitats among them. A class of insecticide called neonicotinoids, is getting much attention because it is highly toxic, disrupts bee's nervous systems and causes bees to be more susceptible to fatal pathogens and parasites. In areas where this insecticide is used, lethal concentrations of the neonicotinoids are being found systemically in plants, their pollen and their nectar which harm butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Even after the initial application, these insecticides can persist in the soil for years and be re-absorbed in plants not initially treated.

In 2013, the European Union banned neonicotinoids in Europe and Ontario, Vancouver, Seattle and communities in Washington State, Oregon and Minnesota have banned them as well. Maine, New Jersey, and Vermont are also considering banning the use of neonicotinoids. By January 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will ban the use of neonicotinoids in the entire 150 million acre National Wildlife Refuge System.

For the next several weeks, I will address steps you can take to help bees and other pollinators.

Tip #1

While commercial agricultural uses of neonicotinoids are a major concern, products available for homeowners to use recommended application rates on the bags up to 100 times higher than those rates approved for agricultural crops. Go through your storage shed, dispose of and never use the following products:

BayerAdvanced 3-in-1 Insect,Disease, & Mite Control
BayerAdvanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Insect Control
BayerAdvanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed
BayerAdvanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control
BayerAdvanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care concentrate
DIY Tree Care Products Multi-Insect Killer
Ferti-lome 2-N-1 Systemic
Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray
Hunter
Knockout Ready-To-Use Grub Killer
Lesco Bandit
Marathon
Merit
Monterey Once a Year Insect Control II
Ortho Bug B GonYear-Long Tree & Shrub Insect Control
OrthoMAX Tree & Shrub Insect Control
Surrender Brand GrubZ Out
BayerAdvanced All-in-One Rose & Flower Care granules
Green Light Grub Control with Arena
Flagship
Maxide Dual Action Insect Killer
Meridian

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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