FRESNO — Federal regulators have released new pesticide labels they say will help protect bees from pesticide exposure.
The labels, made public by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, will have a bee advisory box and icon with information about routes of exposure and spray drift precautions.
The labels are for neonicotinoids, a class of chemicals that act on the central nervous system of insects. Beekeepers and environmental organizations say they are toxic to bees and could be a significant factor in colony collapse disorder, in which all the adult honeybees in a colony suddenly disappear or die.
This year, some beekeepers lost up to 50 percent of their colonies. Bees are crucial to California’s almond pollination.
Critics say the new labels do little to address the problem of bee declines.