Environment Colorado Calls on Senate Agriculture cmte to restrict bee-killing pesticides known as neonics

Media Contacts
Rex Wilmouth

Former Senior Program Director, Environment Colorado

Environment Colorado

Denver, CO – Environment Colorado is calling on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources committee to passSB22-131, which would restrict the use of bee-killing neonicotinoids, also known as neonics, by categorizing them as a restricted use pesticide (RUP). A RUP is a pesticide that is not available for use by the general public. The bill is sponsored by Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis and Senator Kevin Priola.

“By passing this bill, we are taking some of the sting out of an increasingly toxic environment for bees,” said Rex Wilmouth, senior program director of Environment Colorado. “We will be able to promise our pollinators a safer state when they return in the spring.” 

Connecticut, Maryland and Vermont were the first states to implement similar restrictions on neonics; then Massachusetts and Maine did so in 2021. The legislation limits pesticide applications in non-agricultural settings such as gardens and lawns, which are the primary places the pesticides are used in Colorado. 

These neurotoxic pesticides have been demonstrated to harm pollinators and are linked to bee population declines. Neonics can kill bees or impair their ability to fend off disease, navigate back home or survive the winter. Neonics also negatively affect the iconic monarch butterfly and songbirds.

The vote in the committee comes on the heels of new federal funding for bees and other pollinators. The federal infrastructure bill, which went into law in November, provides $2 million in annual grants to the states and tribes for pollinator habitat along roadsides. 

“People expect that the products they find on store shelves have met basic safety and health standards. SB22-131 is an important guardrail to ensure we meet that expectation by taking neonics off the shelves,” said Wilmouth.


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