Maryland enacts ban on neonicotinoid pesticides to help bee population
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers during the recent General Assembly session voted to curb the sale of certain pest control products to home gardeners after reviewing studies that point to the harmful effects some lawn chemicals have on bees and other pollinators.
The legislation prohibits the retail sale and household use of neonicotinoid pesticides, a class of insect repellant that attacks the nervous system and paralyzes pests, beginning in 2018, but commercial uses would still be permitted.
Both the House and Senate versions of the bill passed 99-38 in the House of Delegates. The legislation was contentious, and supporters and opponents each pointed to studies that indicated conflicting effects on bee populations due to the neonicotinoids.
Gov. Larry Hogan is reviewing the legislation, a spokeswoman said.
“Consumers tend to overuse product supplies in retail stores, and making some Other studies have found dent in neonic use by restricting that pesticides are devastating them to certified applicators, the bee population, while farmers and veterinarians some report that bees are is important because unaffected. Still others indicate those people are better bee colonies in the U.S. trained to use those products,” are growing. House bill sponsor The Maryland Department Del. Anne Healey (D-Prince of Agriculture and George’s) said. “The preponderance the National Federation of of science is huge Independent Businesses and it’s confirmed in the independent opposed the bill. To date science community.” the Maryland Department of Agriculture has not documented
A Jan. 6 Environmental any cases of neonics Protection Agency health negatively impacting honeybees assessment of neonicotinoid in Maryland and cited pesticides, frequently a USDA survey that claimed called “neonics,” indicated that “no neonicotinoids were a threat one type of neonic found in Maryland pollen had on honey bee colonies samples.” that feast on citrus and cotton There are about 1,800 beekeepers crops. (http://www. that keep 14,000 colonies epa.gov/pesticides/epa-releases-first-four-preliminary-risk-assessments-insecticides-potentially-harmful) scattered throughout Maryland, according to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.