Oregon Department of Agriculture officials completed investigations into four bumblebee death incidents last year in Wilsonville, Hillsboro, West Linn and Portland. As a result, fines totaling nearly $3,000 were issued.
ODA's Pesticides Program focused on use of dinotefuran and imidacloprid as chemical ingredient causal agents in the bee mortality. Oregon's Pesticide Control Law establishes specific criteria to determine dollar amounts in civil penalties ODA chemical cops can enforce.
Three of the penalties were against culprits in the largest of the bee incidents, which took place in Wilsonville last June when 50,000 bees were reportedly killed following an application of dinotefuran on European linden trees.
In that incident Collier Arbor Care, Clackamas, a licensed pesticide business, received a $555 fine for performing in a faulty, careless or negligent manner. Mark McMullen, Beaverton, and Sean Rinault, Woodburn, were both hit with $555 fines.
It was also Collier that received another $407 fine for the Portland event, for applying inconsistent with label requirements on the chemical product container. Applicators in this incident, Rinault and Ray Duval of Estacada, also received $407 fines.
ODA's investigation of the Hillsboro incident and at the West Linn Oregon Golf Club resulted in violation notices to Collier as well for incomplete pesticide application records and employing a pesticide applicator without an appropriate license.
The applicator, Cirrus Striedieck of Portland, also received a notice of violation. No money has to be paid in these incidents, but the violations remain on the operator's and applicator's enforcement record for three years.
ODA found no evidence of wrongdoing in the Hillsboro bee deaths.
The agency has taken several steps to protect bumblebees and other pollinator insects from exposures to chemicals considered to be harmful to their existence. Pesticide formulators like Bayer have also taken notice of the bee concerns, and drafted plans to help growers become aware of potential threats to the insect.