Capitol Hill is buzzing about a new bill that aims to provide long overdue protections for America’s imperiled pollinators. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) will be introducing the Save America’s Pollinators Act, calling for the suspension of neonicotinoids, a class of systemic pesticides that are killing bees.
As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought. Continue reading “Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought”
Around the world, bees are dying at alarming rates and new science is pointing to the world’s most popular class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (also called neonics), made by giant chemical companies Bayer and Syngenta, as the key factor in the global bee die-off.
These key pollinators need our help. Without immediate action to save bees, which pollinate two-thirds of our food crops, everything from almonds to strawberries could disappear from supermarket shelves.
Fortunately, Representatives John Conyers (D, Mich.) and Earl Blumenauer (D, Ore.) just introduced a bill to give our bees a fighting chance. The “Save America’s Pollinators Act” will suspend the use of toxic, bee-killing pesticides until a full review of scientific evidence indicates they are safe and a field study demonstrates they do no harm to bees and other pollinators.
This past spring, the European Union placed a two year ban on most neonics — but the EPA is dragging its feet, ignoring mounting scientific evidence and delaying action until 2018.
The bees can’t wait, and neither can we. Tell Congress to stand up for bees today!
Last week, the beekeeping industry filed legal action against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approving a new bee-harming pesticide.
According to Beyond Pesticides, the petitioners—including the National Pollinator Defense Fund, American Honey Producers Association, National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, and beekeepers Bret Adee, Jeff Anderson and Thomas R. Smith—filed the suit in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Continue reading “Americans Unite to Sue EPA Demanding Protection of Bees”
n light of recent action in Europe to suspend the use of certain neonicotinoid pesticides, Beyond Pesticides joined 12 other environmental and advocacy organizations in urging the Obama Administration to direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the European Union’s lead in recognizing that risks posed by these pesticides are unacceptably high, and to suspend the use of these chemicals in the U.S. to protect pollinators and the nation’s agricultural economy.
The letter urges the Obama Administration to not only direct EPA to follow Europe’s lead in suspending certain neonicotinoid pesticides uses, but requests even more protective measures, including a minimum two-year suspension for all outdoor uses of neonicotinoid insecticides pending resolution of their hazards to bees and beneficial organisms. Highlighting the negative environmental and economic impacts of outdoor uses of the EPA-approved neonicotinoid insecticides—imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinetofuran and acetamiprid—as well as a recognition that the initial risk assessments for these chemicals fail to adequately consider key risks to bee health, the letter to President Obama notes that it, “would not be responsible to continue to allow these threatening compounds to be used so broadly.” Continue reading “President Obama, Act Now to Save the Bees”
By Rex Weyler
We know what is killing the bees. Worldwide Bee Colony Collapse is not as big a mystery as the chemical companies claim. The systemic nature of the problem makes it complex, but not impenetrable. Scientists know that bees are dying from a variety of factors—pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global warming and so forth. The causes of collapse merge and synergize, but we know that humanity is the perpetrator, and that the two most prominent causes appear to be pesticides and habitat loss.
Biologists have found over 150 different chemical residues in bee pollen, a deadly “pesticide cocktail” according to University of California apiculturist Eric Mussen. The chemical companies Bayer, Syngenta, BASF, Dow, DuPont and Monsanto shrug their shoulders at the systemic complexity, as if the mystery were too complicated. They advocate no change in pesticide policy. After all, selling poisons to the world’s farmers is profitable. Continue reading “Worldwide Honey Bee Collapse: A Lesson in Ecology”
Just as Pollinator Week began last week, an estimated 50,000 bumblebees, likely representing more than 300 colonies, were found dead or dying in a shopping mall parking lot in Wilsonville, OR. Authorities confirmed Friday that the massive bee die-off was caused by the use of a neonicotinoid pesticide, dinotefuran, on nearby trees. Then on Saturday, it was reported by The Oregonian that what could be hundreds of bees were found dead after a similar pesticide use in the neighboring town of Hillsboro.
According to the Xerces Society, this is the largest known incident of bumblebee deaths ever recorded in the country. Bumblebees, which are crucial to the pollination of multiple berry and seed crops grown in the Willamette valley—as well as many other food crops across the country—have recently experienced dramatic population declines, a fate similar to other pollinators. Continue reading “50,000 Bumblebees Dead After Neonicotinoid Pesticide Use in Oregon”