Thurston County is the first county government in Washington state to ban the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on the property that it manages and owns.

The chemical is highly toxic to honey bees and bumblebees, and is found in a variety of gardening products designed to keep insects away from plants.

The Board of County Commissioner’s decision came as good news for beekeepers who believe the chemical has contributed to the loss of bee populations and the collapse of bee colonies.

“I’m just elated,” said Rochester resident Mark Emrich, president of the Washington State Beekeepers Association. “I think it’s incredibly gutsy.”

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