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Written by Jessica Jenkins, Communications Intern
As the days get longer and warmer, the average Marylander is spending more and more time in our great outdoors. With this time outside, many are starting their gardening regimen. Thanks to the work of the Smart on Pesticides coalition that we are a part of, we passed the Pollinator Protection Act of 2016 that bans the sale of products containing neonicotinoid (neonics). This helps consumers make safe choices for their families and our pollinators.
On May 25, 2017 Governor Hogan signed the Pollinator Habitat Bill into law. According to the Smart on Pesticides Maryland coalition, “Maryland’s pollinators are at risk, due in part to pesticides and a lack of sufficient habitat. The 2016 Pollinator Habitat Plans law aimed to restore and increase habitat for bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife. This law requires that Maryland’s Departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Services and the State Highway Administration establish pollinator habitat plans for lands owned or managed by each agency.”
Last year alone, Maryland beekeepers lost 56% of their hive populations to habitat loss and pesticides. This new law specifically bans neonicotinoid (“neonic”) pesticides, which have been proven to kill bees, from state pollinator habitat areas. “Keeping state pollinator habitat free of harmful pesticides will help protect our bees, food supply and the environment,” said Ruth Berlin, executive director of the Maryland Pesticide Education Network. “Maryland is demonstrating once again that we are a national leader in pollinator protection.”