Save Oregon’s Bees

Can you imagine a landscape where 90%
of Oregon’s native plants & trees are gone?

Bumblebee photo by Elise Fog

Pollinators—bees, butterflies, and other insects—play a critical role in nature and the food we eat every day. Nearly all — 90% — of Oregon’s trees, shrubs and other native plants depend on pollinators to produce seed for the next generation. More than 1/3 of the food crops grown in Oregon, such as blueberries, raspberries, cherries, apples, and squash, rely on bees for pollination.

The Oregon Pollinator Protection Alliance (OPPA) will take action to reverse pollinator declines in Oregon. We will work together to build native habitat and reduce the use of bee-killing pesticides in our communities. We will take action to place necessary restrictions on neonicotinoid pesticides for consumers’ purchase and use.

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NEW! Beyond Toxics and GloryBee are working together to make Eugene a Bee City USA!

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By joining the Oregon Pollinator Protection Alliance (OPPA*) you are agreeing to the following:

1. I pledge NOT to use pesticides containing neonicotinoids: Imidacloprid, Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam, Acetemiprid, Nithiazine, Thiacloprid, or Dinotefuran.

2. I pledge to support native pollinators by planting native flowers and habitat and encouraging others to do the same.

3. I pledge to work with other OPPA partners to help pass policies that advance protections for Oregon’s native pollinators.

*OPPA will NOT work to change the availability of neonicotinoids to professional applicators, farmers or
veterinarians who are trained and licensed.

What Causes the Decline of Bees?

  • Habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change are 3 major factors contributing to pollinator declines.1
  • Scientific studies prove neonicotinoid pesticides are a major contributor to the decline of bees, butterflies and other beneficial insects.2
  • One application of Imidacloprid can remain toxic to pollinators for 3+ years.3
  • Small amounts of neonicotinoid exposure can kill bees on contact.4
  • Neonicotinoids are now the most widely purchased insecticide in the world.5
  • Neonicotinoids migrate into water, poisoning beneficial insects in streams and further disrupting natural ecosystems.6

[1] Bee declines driven by combined stress from parasites, pesticides, and lack of flowers
[2] REVIEW: An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides
[3] Environmental fate and exposure; neonicotinoids and fipronil
[4] Seed coating with a neonicotinoid insecticide negatively affects wild bees
[5] World’s Most Widely Used Insecticide Proven to Damage Bees’ Brains
[6] Macro-Invertebrate Decline in Surface Water Polluted with Imidacloprid

What are Neonicotinoids?
Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides that cannot be washed off of plants. They include imidacloprid, acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. Neonicotinoids are the most widely sold pesticides in the US – they are commonly the active ingredient in garden and lawn products. Neonicotinoids are water soluble and systemic pesticides, meaning they are taken up in the vascular system of a treated plant, thereby rendering the whole plant toxic. Systemic pesticides don’t wash off. The toxic ingredients become part of the nectar, the pollen and even the moisture, or sweat, of the plant. Bees are poisoned when they are exposed as they pollinate flowers. Researchers across the United States, including a 2015 published report by the US Geological Survey (USGS), are repeatedly finding high levels of neonicotinoid residues in water that exceed the acute threshold for aquatic and soil invertebrates. The discovery of wide-ranging environmental harm caused by neonicotinoids must become the concern of the State of Oregon.

Consumers are Unsuspecting Users of Dangerous, Bio-Persistent Pesticides
Pesticide labels don’t warn consumers about the uptake of neonicotinoids through tissue in trees and plants. Shoppers assume that products sold at garden and grocery stores are completely safe, thus are less likely to read pesticide labels. Research shows that the home use of pesticides containing neonicotinoids far exceeds “all safe levels” for pollinators and soil health.

Oregon’s Current Policy on Bees & Neonicotinoids
Oregon Policy on Bees and Neonicotinoids In 2015 Oregon passed legislation to require pollinator protection education for licensed pesticide applicators. This program has the potential to decrease the number of acute bee-kill incidents in professional settings. However, the 2015 legislation does not address the long-term persistence of neonicotinoids or the harm they cause to native pollinators and water quality.

But How Do I Keep Unwanted Insects Away From My Plants?
Fortunately, we have access to a great amount of modern research and information regarding alternatives to pesticides. Recent studies have concluded that Integrated Pest Management is a very efficient and effective method of controlling for unwanted invertebrates. Check out the 2017 PNW Insect Management Handbook here.

Use this handy solution chart (below) to help you decide which chemical pest-control methods are most efficient and least toxic to our precious pollinators!

Download the PVS Solution Chart (2 pages, PDF)

“Bee Spanish Lavender” – Photo by Melody Carr

Check out our bee-friendly garden guides here:

Pacific Northwest Beneficial Insects – Front

Pacific Northwest Beneficial Insects – Back

Cultivating a Bee-Friendly Garden – Page 1

Cultivating a Bee-Friendly Garden – Page 2

Beneficial Invertebrates of the PNW – Front

Beneficial Invertebrates of the PNW – Back





Get involved today to help save Oregon's bees from dangerous pesticides! (Photo by Don Latarski)

Get involved today to help save Oregon’s bees from dangerous pesticides! (Photo by Don Latarski)

There’s an important way to help our work to save Oregon’s bees! Become a member of Beyond Toxics TODAY!

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Beyond Toxics is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. Please
consider giving a gift of a Beyond Toxics membership to a friend or family member!



 Beyond Toxics is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. Please consider giving a gift of a Beyond Toxics membership to a friend or family member!