#redhousehoney06BioForest says TreeAzin is not toxic to bee brood and that label changes may be forthcoming.
The following message was received from BioForest in response to Red House Honey’s post about TreeAzin being potentially toxic to bee brood, as stated on the TreeAzin insecticide label. Readers are asked to kindly forward any comments they may have to Red House Honey, the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association, and/or BioForest. Anonymous comments will not be published, however others may be excerpted for use in future blogs.
The following is BioForest’s message, unedited:
“We have been in contact with Mr. Tibor Szabo, President, of the Ontario Beekeepers’ Association (OBA) since the release of their January newsletter, which addressed the ‘TOXIC to bee brood’ statement on the TreeAzin Systemic Insecticide label. I would like to share the information we have provided to the OBA to date which highlights the environmental fate of azadirachtin products, such as TreeAzin. Our hope is that the OBA shares this information with its members. We would also like to provide some background information on TreeAzin.
“To describe azadirachtin’s environmental fate as it relates to bees we have included a letter prepared by Dr. Eric Mussen, Extension Apiculturist at the University of California, Davis in the Department of Entomology and Nematology [LINK]. In his letter, Dr. Mussen concludes that, “azadirachtin, when used as trunk injections to protect trees from beetle depredation, should pose no significant risk to adult or immature honey bees that consume nectar or pollen from treated trees.”
Azadirachtin is an extract from the seed of the Neem tree (Azadiracta indica) and is the active ingredient of TreeAzin. In 2001, we began our investigations into the potential use of azadirachtin as a pest management alternative because of the positive characteristics of its toxicological profile: biodegrades rapidly in the environment and very low toxicity to mammals and birds.
“Azadirachtin’s minimal impact on the environment is supported by science. Grimalt et al.1 reports that, following injections, azadirachtin essentially dissipates to near undetectable limits in autumn-shed leaves. Kreutzweiser et al.2 showed that azadirachtin in autumn-shed leaves poses no measurable risk of harm to terrestrial or aquatic decomposer invertebrates.
TreeAzin unlike many other pest control products is not a neonicotinoid. We know that residues from neonicotinoids are long lasting and can accumulate in ecosystems. It has been reported that one of the most commonly used neonicotinoids, imidacloprid, is more than 100 times more toxic to bees than azadirachtin. Furlan and Kreutzweiser3 conclude that, of several insecticides tested for efficacy against EAB, translocation efficiency, and environmental safety, azadirachtin is the most promising.
“In 2008, TreeAzin was registered for use against the emerald ash borer (EAB) in the U.S. and is currently the only pesticide in North America listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use against EAB. In Canada, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), a division of Health Canada, approved TreeAzin for use against EAB under an emergency registration in 2008 and fully registered TreeAzin in 2012. We are in the process of providing PMRA with the most up to date scientific evidence that suggests the “TOXIC to bee brood” statement on the current label should be revised to reflect more accurate details regarding azadirachtin’s effect on bees.
“We are always happy to talk about the science of azadirachtin and listen to the comments and concerns from the public. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.”
||Joe Meating | PresidentBioForest
59 Industrial Park Crescent, Unit 1, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 5P3c. 705-941-8678 | t. 705-942-5824 | Toll Free 1-888-236-7378 | f. 705-942-8829
- Grimalt, Susana, et al. “Foliar residue dynamics of azadirachtins following direct stem injection into white and green ash trees for control of emerald ash borer.” Pest management science 67.10 (2011): 1277-1284.
- Kreutzweiser, David, et al. “Environmental safety to decomposer invertebrates of azadirachtin (neem) as a systemic insecticide in trees to control emerald ash borer.” Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 74.6 (2011): 1734-1741.
- Furlan, Lorenzo, and David Kreutzweiser. “Alternatives to neonicotinoid insecticides for pest control: case studies in agriculture and forestry.” Environmental Science and Pollution Research 22.1 (2014): 135-147.