How to report a suspected pesticide-related bee kill
The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Pesticide Program, responds to all allegations of bee kills or die-offs alleged to be pesticide related.
Pesticide investigators may
- Collect physical evidence (such as dead bees or treated vegetation)
- Collect and review pesticide application records
- Interview beekeepers and pesticide applicators
ODA often works with Oregon State University (OSU) and beekeepers to identify whether bee kills or die-offs are pesticide related, or the result of poor nutrition, parasites, disease, or other factors. In certain instances, dead bees collected by ODA investigators are analyzed by the ODA laboratory for pesticide residues. Unless directed by ODA Pesticide Enforcement staff, do not handle or collect dead bees prior to their arrival. Due to sampling protocols and chain of custody processes, ODA may not use lab analysis of bees collected by citizens as a basis for an enforcement action. If you encounter a bee death during the evening or over the weekend, ODA asks that you take photos and document as much detail as you can about the situation you think could be useful to ODA before they arrive on location.
During the investigation, ODA uses standard investigative protocol as well as US EPA Guidance on responding to bee-related incidents. The investigative findings are provided to the US EPA on a quarterly basis. The Pesticides Program has created a brochure that details the investigation and enforcement process.
When to contact ODA
Alleged pesticide-related incidents must be reported in a timely manner. This is because pesticide residues break down over time, bee carcasses degrade, crops are harvested, memories fade, or pesticide application information may not be available.
How to contact ODA
Individuals may file a complaint via
You also can call 211 to report a bee-related incident 24 hours a day. Information provided will be directed to the Pesticide Program for follow up.
The Oregon Bee Project
A home for bee friendly resources and tools, as well the Oregon Bee Atlas, and information about flagship farms, and Oregon Innovators.
Pesticide advisories about pollinators
Oregon law and the use of pesticides on linden trees
ORS 603-057-0388 prohibits the application of four neonicotinoid insecticides. It is prohibited to apply any product containing dinotefuran, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, or clothianidin, regardless of application method, to linden trees, basswood trees or other Tilia species. Failure to comply may result in the revocation, suspension or refusal to issue or renew the license or certification of an applicant, licensee or certificate holder; or a civil penalty.
Pollinators and pesticide labels
Pollinators are extremely important to Oregon's agricultural community, pollinating many crops. Oregon is proactive in protecting bees and other pollinators and currently requires specific label language prohibiting the use of the neonicotinoid pesticides, dinotefuran and imidacloprid, on linden, basswood and Tilia species trees.
At the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required special label restrictions to neonicotinoid pesticides in order to protect pollinators. The active ingredients that will have special label language are as follows:
EPA: Information on Residue Toxicity Time for Growers and Beekeepers
EPA data to use as a means of gauging the relative lengths of time that pesticide products may remain toxic to bees. Residue toxicity time and bees
Pesticide products containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam registered in Oregon
Pesticide products containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam registered in Oregon labeled for use on ornamentals and trees grown in landscapes and/or nurseries. Use on linden/tilia spp. is prohibited. Pesticide products in Oregon containing clothianidin and thiamethoxam