Oregon bans use of bee-killing insecticides on linden trees

By Kelly House, The Oregonian

A state rule established Friday bans the use of four types of bee-killing insecticides on linden trees and related species.

The rule, enacted at the request of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, makes it illegal to spray lindens, basswood trees and their relatives with any product containing dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam or clothianidin. The four chemicals are all neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides that has been identified as a major contributor to the collapse of bee colonies around the world.

They’ve also been implicated in seven major bee die-offs in Oregon since June 2013, when 50,000 bees dropped dead in a Wilsonville Target supermarket parking lot after workers sprayed dinotefuran on trees the bees swarmed.

Bee advocates say the event is the most massive bee die-off on record.

“The vast majority of those die-offs were not the result of label violations,” said Aimee Code, pesticide program coordinator for the Xerces Society. “That means legal insecticide use was causing bee kills. I think Oregon really saw a need and addressed it.”

Read more at OregonLive.com