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Beekeepers File Lawsuit on Behalf of Their Insects

Beekeepers from California and across the United States filed suit Thursday in federal court in San Francisco. They’re suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for failing to protect bees from dangerous pesticides.

This is the season when delicate pink blooms are exploding on California’s almond trees. But beekeepers are scrambling to find enough insects to pollinate the crops. And some of them are homing in on pesticides as a possible factor in unusually high rates of bee deaths.

They’re particularly worried about pesticides called “neonicotinoids,” which are applied to seeds, helping them grow into more pest-resistant plants. The EPA says these pesticides are safer for humans and mammals than chemicals sprayed on crops.

But beekeepers point to research showing the chemicals harm bees, and say federal regulators have been slow to re-evaluate the pesticides. The beekeepers are suing to compel the EPA to reclassify the chemicals as an “imminent hazard” to bees, and move swiftly to restrict their use.    

 

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