Colorado agriculture cmte approves bill to protect pollinators, limit pesticides

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DENVER – The Colorado Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee voted 5-2 to limit the sale of bee-killing neonics insecticides. SB23-266, sponsored by Senator Kevin Priola and Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis, will head to the Appropriations committee next.

Nearly one in every three bites of food depends on pollinators. Here in Colorado, we have 946 native bee species, making us the fifth most bee diverse state. Colorado is also seeing big bee die-offs with the western bumblebee population dropping by 72% over the last decade. Studies continuously point to neonics as a contributing factor.

The following statement was released by Danny Katz, CoPIRG executive director:

“We depend on bees and pollinators for everything from Palisade peaches to Rocky Ford melons, and hundreds of other flowering plants. Neonics harm and kill insects, including pollinators, and we must reduce the use of these pesticides to protect our food supply and our health. When we depend on pollinators for so much, it doesn’t make sense we would allow the unlimited use of a dangerous bee-killing pesticide as our bee populations plummet. This bill will reduce the sale of these products, helping our communities support a diverse and healthy bee and pollinator population.”

The bill must pass the legislature by May 8.