Consider effect of pesticides on bees [Letter]

July 17, 2014

The recent article noting the efforts of Nathan Reid to raise the public's awareness of plant pollinators ("Bee conscious of what you plant," July 13) reminds me that The Sun also published an article last June regarding a memorandum signed by President Barack Obama authorizing the formation of a committee to look into matter of possible loss of plant pollinators in the United States.

Given that the committee has six months to accumulate findings and publish a report, one wonders how long it will take the bumbling and much-lobbied Congress to pass legislation based on this committee's findings. The committee may find there is no great loss of plant pollinators other than the European honey bee, which is our main workhorse for commercial pollinating and honey production.

In the meantime, there are many international accusatory fingers being pointed at a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids as being the main culprit for the demise of the commercial honeybee and other pollinators. Europe has drawn strict guidelines for the use of neonicotinoids while we have only patchy guidelines for their use in the U.S.

The public should be made aware that this class of pesticide has a long term and dangerous effect and should not be used in a casual fashion around the home and garden. Likewise, pre-treated plants are coming on the market and should be avoided.

Donald T. Hart, Baltimore

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