March 3, 2022

Beekeepers & Bee Enthusiasts of Eastern Colorado,

 

I am writing today because we have a pollinator bill seeking to change the use of neonicotinoids under consideration in our Colorado legislature.

The Eastern Colorado Beekeepers board of directors did NOT respond in favor of this legislation and the conversation at the Colorado State Beekeepers Association board meeting was NOT in support of this particular legislation - despite circulated publications that list both organizations as having endorsed this bill.

The purpose of the Eastern Colorado Beekeepers and Colorado State Beekeepers Association is to educate, while organizations like the People and Pollinators Action Network are formed to include the capability of lobbying. Many have responded to the early information pushed out by lobbying groups in favor of the bill. However, the CSBA pesticide representative (a beekeeper representing us on the pesticide committee at the state level) reports that, among other things, the bill is NOT written to work WITH the things already in place to protect pollinators and is likely to result in increased use of other, more dangerous chemicals such as pyrethroids without putting anything in place to protect pollinators from this increased use of non-neonic pesticides. I encourage you to learn about how pesticides are used and regulated. I encourage you to consider your own use of pesticides - anytime you kill a weed, a rodent, or a pesky insect, you are using pesticides and when we talk about pyrethroids & neonicotinoids, those aren't some chemical that you'd never be able to purchase or would never find - those are chemicals that are easily available to homeowners at the grocery store, hardware store, or feed store as fly sprays, lawn treatments to control insects, etc.

It is easy to market that the people who use these chemicals on a large scale are the ones that need to worry about this - but in reality we ALL use these on a significant scale and we ALL should learn more about how to use them. Those that use chemicals on large scales are more likely to have continuing education about chemicals and chemical application & are more likely to stick to the application rates and areas on the label (and face consequences when they do not), while it is common for homeowners to avoid/procrastinate reading that fine print or ignore it altogether. DriftWatch and BeeCheck are powerful tools that allow the marking of sensitive locations that both beekeepers and chemical applicators (including homeowners) can use to ensure opportunity for collaboration.

Remember: The label is the law. The dose makes the poison. The labels are meant to protect pollinators, humans, bird & fish species, etc - and as responsible citizens, we have a responsibility to treat only when needed and do our best to understand the treatment we are using & how we should use it. Perhaps ensuring those chemical labels are important to ALL end-product users or otherwise providing meaningful education for the end-product users would help address whether or not we need a suburbia full of yards treated with imidacloprid (a neonic insecticide) OR bifenthrin (a pyrethroid insecticide).

It is important to ask in any legislative effort: Does this address the issue at heart?, What ripple effects will it cause?, Will those ripple effects be better or worse in the long run?, etc.

If you are interested in more information about chemicals that are toxic to pollinators & how all community members can act to help protect pollinators, Purdue University published a short educational article titled "Protecting Honey Bees from Pesticides" last May - you can find it online at https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publications/E-53.pdf 

 

Still praying for a reasonably-temperatured, wet spring!

~ KT

 

202 Eastern Colorado Beekeepers' Board

President: Kathryn Thompson         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice President: Nathan Smiley             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Treasurer: Anita Kopriva                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Secretary: Dallas Gilbert                This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sergeant at Arms: Hal Dodd                    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

2021 Eastern Colorado Beekeepers' Board

President: Kathryn Thompson

Vice President: Joanna Thompson

Treasurer: Tracy Hopkins (Resigned); Interim Treasurer: Jakob Berger

Secretary: Dallas Gilbert

Sergeant at Arms: Hal Dodd

 

 

2020 Eastern Colorado Beekeepers' Board

President: Jakob Berger

Vice President: Joanna Thompson

Treasurer: Tracy Hopkins

Secretary: [Vacant until election]

Sergeant at Arms: Hal Dodd

 

 

2019 Eastern Colorado Beekeepers' Board

President: Jakob Berger

Vice President: Joanna Thompson

Treasurer: Pat Robbins

Secretary: Shannon VanDuren

Sergeant at Arms: Hal Dodd

 

 

  

2018 Eastern Colorado Beekeepers' Board

President: Jerry Mosbrucker

Vice President: William Elliott

Treasurer: Pat Robbins

Secretary: Patty Imber

Sergeant at Arms: Jakob Berger

 

 

  

2017 Eastern Colorado Beekeepers' Board

President: Jerry Mosbrucker

Vice President: William Elliott

Treasurer: Pat Robbins

Secretary: Patty Imber

Sergeant at Arms: Jakob Berger