The city of Portland, Oregon is doing their part to save the bees by banning the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on city-owned property. The Portland city council unanimously approved the emergency measure on Wednesday, making the ban effective immediately. While the chemical pesticides are efficient at their job, they have also been effectively killing birds, bees and butterflies for years, as the chemicals persist in the environment. Studies have shown that massive bee colony die-offs are likely caused by the insecticides and in 2013, Oregon officials blamed the death of tens of thousands of bees on “improper use” of pesticides. “We’re doing another good thing for the people of Portland, Oregon, the United States, maybe the entire world,” said Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who introduced the policy. While the ban does not apply to private property, it is an important first step, Fritz said. “These toxicants kill bees outright, so this ordinance is critical to protecting Portland’s burgeoning local foods movement,” Lisa Arkin, executive director of Beyond Toxics, said in a press release. Similar ordinances in Seattle, Spokane and Eugene inspired the action.

Image via Ziva and Amir via Flickr Creative Commons.