Bees are at risk from common crop pesticides, California study finds

California farmers could face more restrictions on how they combat crop-eating insects after a state report concluded that one class of pesticide poses a significant risk to bees that pollinate almonds and other crops.

The conclusion, published this week by the state Department of Pesticide Regulation, means growers of top crops such as nuts, wine grapes, citrus and berries will have to alter how they combat crop-destroying pests to strike a balance between losing crops and losing the bees that pollinate them.

“While it’s too soon to be specific, it is likely that we will be developing restrictions in the future that will require growers to modify when and where the pesticides are used,” said Charlotte Fadipe, spokeswoman for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

An outright ban on the pesticide class known as neonicotinoids, or neonics, is unlikely and unrealistic, Fadipe added. The agency already has a moratorium on any expansion of their use.

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