Honey Bees are dying at an alarming rate, and this winter marked the worst losses by far. U.S. beekeepers reported that as many as 50% of their bees disappeared or died.1
Last week, the European Union took a major step to protect its bee population – placing a two-year ban on the neonicotinoid class of pesticides, including clothianidin and thiamethoxam, which many scientists think are a major factor behind the alarming rate of colony collapse.2
But the U.S. is still finding excuses for inaction. The USDA just published a study claiming that neonicotinoids are in fact the least important in a long list of contributing factors to bee die-offs.
With the health of our bee populations – and the estimated $15 billion in agricultural benefits they provide – on the line, it’s time for the EPA to stop ignoring the science, and follow the EU’s lead.
Tell the EPA: Immediately suspend the use of the pesticides that are killing bees.
What is still a mystery to U.S. regulators appears to be abundantly obvious to our bees: these pesticides are deadly for honey bee hives.
Incredibly, in many hives that have died-off, the bees themselves appear to have identified the threat of pesticides and taken measures to protect their hives – physically sealing off hive cells full of pollen that contain dramatically higher levels of pesticides than neighboring cells.3
While the bees make emergency – and unfortunately, insufficient – efforts to save their hives, it’s the same old story from U.S. regulators, who have been continually handing the reins to the industry since the EPA first approved the pesticide clothianidin against the warnings of its own scientists in 2003, just a few years before bees began dying off in large numbers.4
Now, the EPA says that it needs to keep studying neonicotinoid pesticides for two more years. We can’t wait that long. Please sign the petition to put pressure on the EPA to take action and immediately suspend the use of neonicotinoid pesticides:
Thanks for working to protect the bees.
1. “Honey Bee Die-Off Caused By Multiple Factors Including Pesticides,” Bill Moyers, 5/1/13
2. “US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse,” The Guardian, 5/2/13
3. “Honeybees ‘entomb’ hives to protect against pesticides, say scientists,” The Guardian, 4/4/13
4. “Leaked document shows EPA allowed bee-toxic pesticide despite own scientists’ red flags,” Grist, 12/11/10