Saving the Honey Bees

Greg Loarie

Attorney, Earthjustice

“At the end of the day, the honey bee crisis is a human health crisis. If we can’t save bees, we can kiss goodbye the most nutritious part of the food pyramid. That’s just not an outcome we at Earthjustice are willing to accept.”

Sweet News for Bees

On Apr. 12, 2023, California adopted new regulations that restrict agricultural use of a class of insecticides called “neonicotinoids” that are especially toxic to honey bees and other pollinators.

The new regulations prohibit most agricultural use of neonicotinoids before and during bloom on most pollinator-attractive crops.

The new rules also cap the total amount of these insecticides that can be applied to a given crop each year.

Going into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, these changes mark a meaningful step in the right direction to protect honey bees, butterflies, and other pollinators from exposure to pollen and nectar contaminated by neonicotinoids.

California’s regulation of these types of insecticides is especially significant because nearly 90% of all honey bee colonies in the United States spend several months in the state each year pollinating crops ranging from almonds to zucchini.

These new regulations reflect more than a decade of sustained Earthjustice advocacy and litigation.

The California Regional Office fights for the rights of all to a healthy environment regardless of where in the state they live; we fight to protect the magnificent natural spaces and wildlife found in California; and we fight to transition California to a zero-emissions future where cars, trucks, buildings, and power plants run on clean energy, not fossil fuels.