The suit filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco calls on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban the insecticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The pesticides are in a class of chemicals used to treat corn, cotton and other crops.
Beekeepers and some scientists say they are toxic to bees and could be a significant factor in colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly disappear or die.
The pesticides are widely used in the Midwest, where many of the bees used for California’s annual almond pollination come from.
California almond farmers have recently been faced with shortages of healthy bees.
Plaintiffs in the suit include the Center for Food Safety.