Huge Citrus Grower Violates Pesticide Rules And Kills Millions Of Honeybees . . . Fined $1,500

220px-Honey_Bee_takes_Nectar220px-Cropduster_spraying_pesticidesGovernment officials and environmentalists have been struggling to deal with a crisis in the loss of honeybees in the United States — a loss that threatens a major part of our economy. Pesticides are believed to be the culprit and companies have been under closer scrutiny as the crisis over the massive loss of bees worsens. Now, Ben Hill Griffin Inc., one of the largest citrus growers, has been found to have violated rules on the use of pesticides that resulted in the killing of millions of bees. However, the fine for the violation is just $1,500. By the way, that is not the maximum fine.

The laughable penalty shows how successful agribusiness has been in controlling legislatures and Congress. This is actually the first action ever taken against any company at any time in history for pesticide misuse leading to mass killing of bees. The state is confined to penalties stated on the product, which in this case is a maximum of $10,000. Even though records show violations on four different days, the company was fined only $1,500.

The company was trying to kill the Asian citrus psyllid, a tiny insect that spreads greening, a citrus disease. Bees keepers reported mass death in their bee kingdoms after the company unleashed repeated aerial sprayings. By the way, the spraying cost the beekeepers $240,000 in lost honey alone.

What is astonishing is that all of this enforcement is based solely on the instruction on the label of the product. The company violated the label by spraying Delegate WG Insecticide before 7 a.m. when bees are foraging. The company then violated another label by spraying Montana 2F insecticide on the roots of a total of 50 acres of young citrus trees — directly exposing bees to Imidacloprid, the active ingredient in Montana 2F. Many of the dead bees tested positive for Imidacloprid.

The obvious lack of deterrence created by these fines is a joke. However, the company may challenge even the $1,500 fine.

Source: Ledger

22 thoughts on “Huge Citrus Grower Violates Pesticide Rules And Kills Millions Of Honeybees . . . Fined $1,500

  1. Another example of the futility of relying on government to protect the common good. There’s a huge need for effective civil actions to private misbehavior because it is manifest that government cannot and will not do the job. Hopefully the beekeepers will successfully sue them. Certainly, this possibility is a much greater deterrent to misconduct than the laughable government fine imposed.

  2. We are a country of corporations and the ‘little guys” be damned. (and future generations much less the folks and resources being hurt as we write.))

  3. Just another thing to be disgusted with politicians over. The pollination that bees do is invaluable for all sorts of our crops. I guess some of these politicians think that we can eat money.

  4. mespo727272″

    “Three pounds of honey bees will cost you around $100.00 hence the reason for the fine amount. $1500.00 buys a lot of bees.”

    “Forgot to mention that 3 lbs is about 10,500 bees plus one clipped or marked queen.”

    Mespo, I used to keep bees. That’s not a lot of bees. A typical colony consists of 60,000 to 75,000 bees during the summer, mostly workers, but also some drones and, of course, one queen. A three-pound package, starting from scratch in spring in a new hive body with wax foundation will not be productive for a year; in the meantime, the beekeeper has to feed them while they build out enough comb to start the queen laying so that the colony can start to raise enough brood to quintuple or sextuple the hive population and become functional before late fall and winter (when the population will fall again). Even if they are introduced on drawn comb, it will be approximately six weeks (21 days from laying to emergence from the cell; 21 days in the hive as a nurse bee, comb builder, queen attendant, etc, before an adult worker goes out to forage) before any significant number of bees are mature enough to forage (and pollinate in the process). Foragers wear out fast, usually dying in two to four weeks or so.

  5. The corporate state is not in business to be responsible, It’s sole purpose is profits and if destroying life and the environment is more profitable than protecting it, then it’s good for profits. Thinking that corporations or their executives are human is a stretch only the Supreme Court can explain.

  6. While imidacloprid may well contribute to collapse disorder. There may be problems with this article. I would expect a knowledgable writer to include information on the date of the spraying. Bees would be vulnerable in a citrus grove only when the trees are blooming. The article mentions spraying roots leading to direct exposure of the bees. Unlikely as growers often drench rather than spray roots. As the roots are underground. If they did use a sprayer the sprayer should have been set up to discharge large droplets. So that they would immediately settle out of the air and soak into the soil. Better journalism would give more credibility.

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