May 28 (Reuters) - U.S. environmental regulators on Thursday proposed a rule that would create temporary pesticide-free zones to protect commercial honeybees, which are critical to food production and have been dying off at alarming rates.
The Environmental Protection Agency restrictions would cover times when specific plants are in bloom and when commercial honeybees are being moved through areas where they are blooming. Beekeepers routinely move their hives around the country to pollinate crops. The regulation would include the class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which some have blamed for the demise of honeybee colonies. (Reporting By Carey Gillam; Editing by Peter Galloway)