Pollinator Protection and Responsible Use of Insecticide Treated Seed
New 2014 Requirement:
When using a seed flow lubricant for planting corn or soybean seed treated with the insecticides clothianidin, thiamethoxam, or imidacloprid (e.g. Poncho, Cruiser, Gaucho, Stress Shield, etc.), only the Fluency Agent by Bayer CropScience is permitted in order to minimize the potential for abrasion/production of insecticidal seed dust. Talc and graphite are not permitted to be used as a seed flow lubricant for corn or soybean seed treated with these insecticides. Carefully follow the use directions provided with the Fluency Agent by Bayer CropScience.
Best Management Practices
Insect pollinators are vital to agricultural production and the environment. Many farmers, including those who grow corn and soybeans, use insecticide treated seed to protect their crop from insect pests. Some insecticides, such as neonicotinoids, are toxic to pollinators. Planting of treated seed can result in the emission of dust-containing insecticide into the air, placing pollinators at significant risk of exposure to toxic insecticides. Factors that significantly impact the risk of exposure include the use of treated seed, type of planting equipment, planting conditions, flowering resources and bee yard locations.
The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) are provided to reduce the risk to bees and other insect pollinators from exposure to dust from treated seed. The BMPs provide a toolbox of options that should be used in combination wherever possible.
Read and adhere to the pesticide label and seed tag directions
Directions for use on pesticide product labels or on treated seed labels [such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and buffer zones] must always be followed in order to minimize risks to human health and the environment.
Practice Integrated Pest Management when choosing seed treatments
Practicing integrated pest management (IPM) is essential for sustainable pest control. This approach can include cultural practices to discourage pests (e.g., crop rotation), correct identification of the pest problem and risk factors.
Develop and maintain shared communication with beekeepers to help protect honeybeesCommunication and cooperation among growers, custom operators and beekeepers on the timing of planting treated seed and the location of hives can help to reduce the risk of bee incidents. This communication will enable growers to know which fields have hives located close by and provide advanced notice to beekeepers of planting intentions, allowing beekeepers to ensure hives are located strategically, take actions to temporarily protect or relocate hives where feasible, and ensure clean water sources are provided.
Recognize pollinator habitat and take special care to reduce dust exposure
Bees collect pollen and nectar from flowering crops, trees and weeds, as well as water from puddles and moist soil in or beside fields. Pollinators can be exposed to treated seed dust when it is carried in the air or deposited on food and water sources.
Avoid generating dust when handling and loading treated seed
Use appropriate seed flow lubricant
Seed flow lubricants may affect the generation of dust during planting.
Managing planting equipment to decrease dust drift
Research indicates that use of vacuum (i.e., negative pressure) planters poses a significant risk of pollinator exposure from drift of insecticide containing dust exhausted from these planters. Limited information is available on the extent of exposure through other planter types. All growers should take care to reduce/control insecticide containing dust exhausted from planters.
Ensure proper clean-up and disposal
Take care when cleaning up after planting seed and follow provincial / municipal disposal requirements:
Report suspected pollinator pesticide poisonings
For suspected pollinator poisonings related to planting of treated seed or pesticides, contact the appropriate federal / provincial authority.
See the Health Canada's pollinator protection web page for appropriate federal and provincial contacts and additional information.
Related InformationAdditional information and best practices can be found at Health Canada's pollinator protection web page: or by contacting Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency at 1-800-267-6315.
The following provincial sites provide soil pest information to support IPM practices:
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300