According to the assessment, the pesticide does present a potential risk to hives when used on crops that attract pollinators, affecting them by decreasing pollinators and honey production.
“Delivering on the President’s National Pollinator Strategy means EPA is committed not only to protecting bees and reversing bee loss, but for the first time assessing the health of the colony for the neonicotinoid pesticides,” EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Assistant Administrator Jim Jones said. “Using science as our guide, this preliminary assessment reflects our collaboration with the State of California and Canada to assess the results of the most recent testing required by EPA.”
The EPA proposed prohibiting the use of pesticides that are toxic for bees while bees are being used to pollinate crops in 2015, and it halted approving new neonicotinoid pesticide uses pending new risk assessments.
The agency is planning to publish the imidacloprid risk assessment later this year, which will be available for public comment for 60 days. The EPA is also working on assessments for clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinotefuran, as well as an assessment of all of imidacloprid’s ecological effects.