Colony Collapse Disorder: European Bans on Neonicotinoid Pesticides
Several European countries have suspended the use of certain pesticides in response to incidents involving acute poisoning of honey bees. To EPA's knowledge, none of the incidents that led to suspensions have been associated with Colony Collapse Disorder. The following are the countries in which pesticides have been suspended, the pesticides in question, and the current registration status for the pesticide:
France - Sunflower and corn seed treatments of the active ingredient imidacloprid are suspended in France; other imidacloprid seed treatments, such as for sugar beets and cereals, are allowed, as are foliar uses.
Germany - The use of a number of seed treatment pesticides was temporarily suspended following an incident in May 2008 in which many bees were inadvertently poisoned. However, after investigating the factors contributing to the situation, Germany lifted the suspensions with the exception of the neonicotinoid clothianidin, which remains suspended as a seed treatment for corn.
Italy - Certain imidacloprid and other neonicotinoid seed treatment uses were suspended temporarily, but foliar uses are allowed. This action was taken based on preliminary monitoring studies in northern and southern regions of Italy showing that bee losses were correlated with the application of seeds treated with these compounds; Italy also based its decision on the known acute toxicity of these compounds to pollinators.
Slovenia - Neonicotinoid seed treatments for maize and oil seed rape (canola) were temporarily suspended. The suspension was based on poor seed treatment methods resulting in release of dust during the seed sowing process. In August 2008, the suspension for oil seed rape seed treatments was lifted due to improved seed treatment methods and seed sowing equipment.
For more information
- Find out more about colony collapse disorder from the USDA Agricultural Research Service
- Learn about EPA’s Pollinator Protection efforts
- EPA Responds to NRDC's 2008 Freedom of Information Act complaint