Frequently Asked Questions For Beekeepers
What is Isoclast™ active?
Isoclast™ active (sulfoxaflor) is a new insecticide developed by Dow AgroSciences that belongs to a new chemical class of insecticides called the sulfoximines. Isoclast effectively and economically controls sap-feeding insects on major crops.
Which crops benefit from the protection of Isoclast?
Isoclast provides effective and economical control of sap-feeding insects and is used in major crop groups, including soybeans, cotton, leafy and fruiting vegetables, pome and stone fruits, rice, cereals, citrus, cole crops, grapes, and other crops.
Why do growers need Isoclast?
Isoclast economically controls important and difficult-to-control sap-feeding insect pests including most species of aphids, leafhoppers, mealybugs, plant bugs, planthoppers, stink bugs, whiteflies, and certain species of psyllids and scale insects.
Isoclast provides growers with the following benefits:
- Effective at low use rates
- Fast-acting with residual control
- Moves throughout the plant to better control pests
- Effective against insect pest populations resistant to other insecticides
- Valuable rotation partner with other insecticides
- Minimal impact on beneficial insects, including bees and natural enemies, when applicators follow label directions for use
Is Isoclast a neonic?
No, Isoclast is not a neonicotinoid. Discovered by and proprietary to Dow AgroSciences, Isoclast is currently the sole member of the sulfoximine class of insecticides. For more information, visit this page.
Does Isoclast negatively impact bees or bee hives?
No. Isoclast is registered in approximately 40 countries and has been used on millions of hectares, over five growing seasons with no reports of any adverse effect on bees or pollinators. In fact, the adoption of Isoclast has reduced the use of products that have less favorable environmental profiles.
New insecticides like Isoclast are selective and designed to focus on controlling harmful insects while having low impact on beneficial insects. When used according to the label, products in the Isoclast family have been proven to have a minimal impact on beneficial insects.
Dow AgroSciences is committed to harnessing science to help solve the problems stemming from increasing global demand for agricultural outputs, including those posed for bees and bee health.
Why are bees under stress?
Bee colonies are under stress today for a variety of reasons. Loss of foraging habitat to encroaching urbanization has contributed to hive malnutrition. Transport of hives for commercial pollination also exacts a toll in stress. Opportunistic infestations of Varroa mites and pathogens have devastated many honey bee colonies. Reports of hives struggling due to the unexplained disappearance of worker bees have generated additional concern as well.
Although insecticide use has declined significantly over the past several decades, agricultural insecticide use is still one of many concerns for bee colony health. While older, more toxic, and more environmentally persistent insecticides have been replaced by newer products over time, reducing contact between bees and farm pesticides through labeling and best practices still remains an important consideration for farmers, technology providers, and the regulatory community.
For more information on bee health, go to:
International Bee Research Association
Are there alternative crop protection solutions that exist other than Isoclast?
Yes, however the adoption of Isoclast has reduced the use of products that have less favorable environmental profiles. As the only sulfoximine insecticide, Isoclast is highly effective against populations of sap-feeding insects that are resistant to these alternative insecticides.
Over time, insect pests have the ability to develop resistance, or become less sensitive to many of these insecticides. Because of its unique properties and broad lack of cross-resistance, Isoclast is an important rotation partner with other insecticides and will enhance insect resistance management (IRM) strategies.
Why use pesticides at all?
The extent to which pesticides are needed on a specific farm is a function of crop, field, weather, insect pest complex, adjacent infestations, cultural practices, and many other factors. In general, however, without the use of pesticides, more new land would have to be cleared for farming in order to sustain current levels of production.
Placing more land in cultivation would limit the plant diversity available to foraging bees and further reduce wildlands, wetlands, and recreational areas important for species preservation. Consequently, pesticide use is not only essential to sustainable crop production; if wisely practiced, it is also important in promoting habitat preservation and species diversity.
Used in conjunction with appropriate cultural practices, pesticides also help reduce soil erosion, fight invasive species, and increase the efficient use of irrigation and fertilizers, all of which helps reduce stress on the biosphere.
Is Isoclast toxic to bees?
Isoclast is softer on bees than most other insecticides, due to several unique attributes (e.g. lower toxicity and lower environmental persistence). Like most commonly used insecticides, Isoclast can be acutely toxic to bees when bees contact the spray itself. But toxicity of Isoclast is greatly reduced when the spray has dried.
Don’t many people say that insecticides are responsible for recent declines in honey bee populations?
Pesticides could be one of many factors affecting bee colony health. Other factors include infections from mites and pathogens, malnutrition due to loss of foraging habitat and transport of hives for commercial pollination. Research is now underway to address these concerns. In the interim, however, farmers need to farm. And Isoclast is, in fact softer on bees than other pesticides (in terms of toxicity and persistence). An additional consideration for pollinator health is product performance.
Will Isoclast have a negative impact on the health of honey bee colonies?
When used according to label directions, Isoclast alone will have no long-term negative effect on honey bee colonies. The use patterns on product labels are government approved and balance the needs of growers and the pressures on pollinator populations.
Does Isoclast generate any toxic metabolites?
No. Isoclast metabolites have been shown to have no insecticidal activity.
Is Isoclast systemic?
Yes. Isoclast is xylem-mobile and moves to the leaf tips with water flow. Isoclast also has excellent translaminar activity, penetrating into the leaf and moving through the leaf tissue to protect the untreated side of the leaf which helps to control hidden pests.