Pesticides have been shown to be involved in the depletion of the bee population, and Maryland has become the first state to ban pesticides in the hope of reversing the situation.
Over 60% of hives in Maryland have been lost in the last year, each containing 20,000 honeybees. This is one of the states with the largest recorded decline.
Colony Collapse Disorder has been responsible for hives disappearing all over America but in Maryland it has than the national average at 42.1%. The loss of hives has been attributed to pesticides being spread on a massive scale on crops, which get pollinated by the bees, taking the poisonous chemicals back to hives.
Losing the bees could result in catastrophic problems further up in the food chain, with the potential loss of over one third of our food supply.
The problem stems from a form of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which were introduced in the 1990’s and since then have become widespread, in products such as Knockout Ready-to-Use Grub Killer, Ortho Bug B Gon, and All-In-One Rose & Flower Care.
These are thought to be the reason for the widespread bee deaths, although the USDA have yet to officially review the issue. A report is scheduled to be published in 2018.
There have been independent studies surrounding the issue, and in 1,121 studies, neonicotinoids were found to play a significant part in bee declines, and it was suggested that they were banned to solve the issue.
Other states have put forward ideas surrounding the banning of neonics, but Maryland is the only one that has got this far. Individual cities have been successful in banning neonics such as Portland and Eugene in Oregon, Seattle and Spokane in Washington.
Del. Anne Healey who authored the House version of the bill thinks that this might set a precedent for other states to follow, and might encourage them to do so.
Companies have recently been trying to limit the amount of bee killing pesticides including Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Whole Foods.