Virginia, as well as much of the rest of the United States, is experiencing dramatic losses in honey bees and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is urging professional applicators to read the label on all pesticide products and to follow all instructions for their use.

In a news release, VDACS points out that the instructions and related precautions that appear on the pesticide label are intended to protect the user, other people, animals and the surrounding environment by minimizing the potential risk of exposure to the pesticide. The likelihood of an incident is minimized when users follow the directions on the label.

Failure to follow the directions could constitute violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, which is the federal pesticide law, as well as the Virginia Pesticide Control Act, according to VDACS. Both the federal and Virginia pesticide laws provide for civil or criminal penalties for violations.  

The VDACS Office of Pesticide Services maintains the Virginia Pesticide Safety website  that provides information on the proper use of pesticides.