Willapa/Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association proposing neonicotinoid application in Willapa Bay – Please help

The Washington Dept. of Ecology (Ecology) is beginning the process for allowing the use of imidacloprid insecticide by the Willapa/Grays Harbor Oyster Growers Association in the Willapa Bay area located on the southwest Pacific coast of Washington state. As you know this is a neonicotinoid insecticide and harmful to honeybees. We have an active beekeeping group in this area (Willapa River Beekeeping Club) and there are many hobby beekeepers as well as a large number of native bees. We’d like to ask your support by asking your members to help by contacting Ecology at the website below and commenting on the use of imidacloprid. Even if you don’t live here, your comments count!

Additional information on the burrowing shrimp control proposal is available on Ecology’s website:

Additional information on the non-native eelgrass control proposal is available on Ecology’s webpage on the non-native eelgrass proposal:http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/pesticides/eelgrass.html

Ecology is seeking comments through Feb. 15 on the draft EIS and the draft permit to allow the use of imidacloprid in Willapa Bay. See Ecology’s website – http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/pesticides/imidacloprid/index.html for ways to submit comments. Ecology is also having a community meeting in South Bend on February 1st.

The meeting will start at 10 a.m. and continue through the afternoon. It will be held at Willapa Harbor Community Center, 916 W. First St., South Bend, WA. The format includes:

  • Open houses on both proposals: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Workshops on both proposals, including presentation and question and answer sessions: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Public hearing on proposal to control non-native eelgrass and public comment opportunity on proposal to control burrowing shrimp: 1 p.m.

For more background:




  1. This is a quite interesting and disturbing case where one well-known pesticide is to be replaced by a much less understood pesticide. I’m not sure how much it would effect bees, but the general principles of the ecotoxicity of the chemicals in questions deserves comment. The link below is the letter I wrote to the Washington state Department of Ecology.

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