According to Beyond Pesticides, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., the City of Eugene, Oregon became the first community in the nation to specifically ban from city property the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which have scientifically linked to the decline of honey bee colonies. The passage of the resolution came just one week after the Oregon state legislature passed a pollinator protection bill that removed language requiring the restriction of neonicotinoid pesticides, and includes instead a weaker requirement to set up a task force that will examine the possibility of future restrictions.
Several bee-kill incidents occurred in Oregon last summer, including one that killed more than 50,000 bumblebees after a licensed pesticide applicator sprayed blooming linden trees, a violation of the pesticide label.
After a preliminary investigation, the Oregon Department of Agriculture confirmed that the massive bee die-off was caused by the use of the neonicotinoid insecticide, dinotefuran. But the incident only resulted in a small fine of under $3,000, just 6 cents per bee, infuriating beekeepers, environmentalists, and advocates, but spurring legislative action.