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US beekeepers upset with new neonicotinoid labels

US commercial beekeepers are frustrated with the EPA's new labels for neonicotinoid insecticides, saying that the revised language undermines existing protections for bees and should be abandoned. Speaking at a meeting with EPA staff last week in California, beekeepers took the Agency to task for limiting the new label language to foliar applications, in effect ignoring the concern about dust from maize seed treated with neonicotinoids, and for including an array of exemptions that allow spraying while crops are in bloom and when bees are foraging. Dust from treated seed is the "major delivery system of the neonicotinoids," said a beekeeper, adding that the new language effectively "disregards seed treatments on 242 million acres [98 million ha] of land."

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