ABC Neonics and Birds Fact Sheet

The NYS Assembly has a bill before it, S1856/A3226, nicknamed the Birds and Bees Protection Act (BBPA). The bill is aimed at curbing the use of neonicotinoid-treated seeds in some agricultural practices and addressing some non-ag uses. The provisions of the bill include the prohibition of using neonic coated seeds only for the growing of corn, soy, and wheat in the state beginning in 2026, as well as eliminating the use of neonicotinoids in some public spaces.

The bill has received much input from DEC and industry officials. The bill does not fully ban neonicotinoids in the state, and it calls for a review of neonicotinoid-coated seeds and the publishing of a report on alternatives and other best practices by 2025, a full year before provisions would be enacted.

The BBPA also includes provisions which would allow for exemptions on the provisions in cases of economic hardship or review from State agricultural officials. There are also specific exemptions for conservation applications, such as fighting the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and other invasive pests.

Neonic-coated seeds are not only ingested by some granivorous birds, they also poison waterways and kill non-target invertebrates birds desperately rely upon for food. If you are in a position to write letters to your State representatives, we urge you to do so. The Fact Sheet (see link above) from the American Bird Conservancy gives details about what these poisonous chemicals do to birds and invertebrates.