Board Bugs Out Over Citrus Pest

Beekeepers Urge Supervisors to Consider Alternative Pesticides

Thursday, June 27, 2013
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The county supervisors found themselves drawn into a discussion about bee colony collapse Tuesday in response to a departmental show-and-tell report by the Agriculture Commissioner requested by North County supervisors Peter Adam and Steve Lavagnino. Members of the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Alliance urged the Board of Supervisors to keep an open mind about alternative pest control methods when dealing with billion dollar crop killers like the Asian citrus psyllid. The psyllid doesn’t kill citrus trees directly, but the bacteria some carry do and are invariably lethal.

Santa Barbara County was placed in a state of quarantine last year after a handful of psyllids were found, though none were carrying the deadly bacteria. The problem, say beekeepers, is the chemicals used to kill the psyllid — neonicotinoids — can be deadly to bees pollinating trees in bloom. Neonicotanoids were implicated in the recent die off of 25,000 bees in Oregon. Or, as a state pesticide agent involved in Goleta’s recent eradication effort obliquely put it, “There are some nontarget pests that get targeted in our application. We try to mitigate the secondary effects.” Supervisor Peter Adam — a farmer — disclosed he kept 20 beehives as a teen. He described neonicotanoids as being “super safe for humans and pets,” adding, it puts “all the stuff you’re trying to kill — piercing, sucking insects — in real trouble, but the rest of us are safe.”

In Santa Barbara County, the citrus crop is valued at an estimated $10.8 million. Given the high stakes involved, COLAB spokesperson Andy Caldwell — normally quick to argue against government spending — argued the supervisors should increase funding and staff for the county’s Agriculture Commissioner. “It’s our food supply,” he exclaimed, “and secondarily, Mother Nature is not benign.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

"There are some nontarget pests that get targeted in our application. We try to mitigate the secondary effects".

Oh - so now bees are just "pests"?

Gimme a break!

fredb93117 (anonymous profile)
June 27, 2013 at 8:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The very fact that pesticides were sprayed on "active bees' (when bees are endangered ) is "government gone completely insane!!" (in Goleta!!)

I had a wonderful group of "sustainable gardeners" for a meeting at my house and garden (sustainable; no kill,,,,)

And they taught me; and all of the attendees A LOT!


ps if we don't preserve bees......we (Human beings) will be extinct in less than 100 years!!!!

so I am involved for my grandchildren!

Go grandparents! stand up against pesticides; hormones and antibiotics.......(did you know that 80 percent of antibiotics sold int the USA ARE SOLD and given to animals? Factory Farm animals.
this is a fact!

My son-in-law almost died.....(at 50) because of this travesty!

We need to rise up and reclaim the right to "safe food"!

Right now; 90% of our food is "NOT SAFE" And look to the "Food Babe"

Thank God for her! She is beautiful; courageous, and she has passion......and a mission!

How proud of that wonderful woman in Austin last night!

We need to give her a HUGE " SHOUT OUT!!!"


penelopeb (anonymous profile)
June 28, 2013 at 12:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

this brave and lovely state senator from Austin......who had been attacked for years....

(a fellow senator said (she asked if he had heard her)

He said...."I don't think I can hear women's voices" (he actually said that!)
I guess he heard hers last night!

OMIGOD! She makes me so proud!


She is my HERO!!!

penelopeb (anonymous profile)
June 28, 2013 at 12:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

am I the only one? I hope not!

penelopeb (anonymous profile)
June 28, 2013 at 12:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

At one am most likely but otherwise no.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
June 28, 2013 at 12:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

yeah, for some bees are "pests"...amazing in the 21st century with all that information available... Love it how the COLAB god Caldwell intones, in dead seriousness, "Nature is not benign". I'm not sure we're ready to debate this astonishing claim.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
June 28, 2013 at 4:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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