Are our pesticides killing bees in Ballina?
MORE than a year after thousands of bees were found dead in Alstonville, Ballina Shire Council will investigate whether the pesticides it uses are harming bee health.
Councillor Keith Williams has asked the council to review its use of pesticides implicated in mass bee deaths.
The review will specifically investigate Fipronil, Diazinon and neonicotinoid insecticides, which have been known to impact bee health.
"Bee health is vital to the agriculture in our shire," Cr Williams said.
"The pesticides that are nominated have been found in mass bee deaths here.
"I'm not suggesting we are causing the bee deaths but these particular pesticides are related to that and I want to investigate if we're using this in our shire."
Last year, Alstonville beekeepers reported they'd lost thousands of bees to possible pesticide poisoning throughout September.
The NSW Environment Protection Authority was investigating several reports, however testing the cause of death was very expensive and difficult to prove the exact poison or chemical used.
It is an offence under the EPA's legislation to use pesticides in a manner that harms non-target animals.
The maximum penalties for this are $120,000 for an individual, and $250,000 for a corporation.