Landmark Minnesota Case Finds Pesticides Harmful to Bees

Mar 28, 2016

Investigators from the state Department of Agriculture confirmed, in effect, what beekeepers have been saying for years: Even when used according to law, the most widely used class of insecticides in the world are acutely toxic to honeybees under routine circumstances.
Credit Courtney Perry / Minneapolis Star Tribune

Beekeepers on the High Plains might want to keep an eye on a story to the north. Two beekeepers in Minnesota have received compensation from the state’s department of agriculture after their hives were destroyed. The hives were severely damaged last spring by toxic pesticides that had drifted off a neighboring cornfield, reports the Star Tribune.

State officials have effectively confirmed what beekeepers have been saying for years: “The most widely used class of insecticides in the world are acutely toxic to honeybees under routine circumstances."  

The finding is a landmark in the ongoing national fight over the controversial group of insecticides called neonicotinoids.

These chemicals have been implicated in the decline of bees and other wild pollinating insects across the US. The case marks the first government decision indicating that these pesticides are harmful to bees.