State officials in Oregon are temporarily restricting the use of more than a dozen pesticide products following the deaths of an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in the Portland area this month.
The measure, effective immediately, will last for 180 days while the Oregon State Agricultural Department investigates incidents of a mass bee die-off in the Portland suburb of Wilsonville, and a much smaller die-off in neighboring Hillsboro.
Eighteen pesticide products containing the active ingredient dinotefuran and used for ornamental, turf and agricultural applications have been banned for now.
"I have directed the agency to take this step in an effort to minimize any potential for additional incidents involving bee deaths connected to pesticide products with this active ingredient until such time as our investigation is completed and we have more information," the agency's director, Katy Coba, said
in a statement released Thursday.
"Conclusions from the investigation will help us and our partners evaluate whether additional steps need to be considered."
A pesticide known as Safari, which contains dinotefuran and belongs to a class called neonicotinoids, cause the deaths of an estimated 50,000 bumblebees in a Target parking lot in Wilsonville this month, authorities said. Crews have wrapped the affected linden trees around the lot with protective netting to prevent further deaths.