OSPIRGhas been working on a campaign throughout fall term to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the state of Oregon.Some studieshave linked neonicotinoid pesticides, also known as neonics, to declining bee populations.
The Eugene City Council passeda resolutionin Feb. 2014 banning the use of neonics on city property, and the European Union and Canada are both in the process ofbanning their usein agriculture.
Prior to the Bee Bash, OSPIRG collected more than 1,600 signatures in three days from students on the UO campus for a petition urging the Oregon government to ban neonics.
“We wanted to celebrate the progress we’ve made this year, and do something fun,” said Alyssa Gilbert,OSPIRG’s “Save the Bees!”campaign coordinator.
Gilbert also said that they received an email of support from Oregon Governor Kate Brown, whoOSPIRGhopes will take up their cause of banning neonics in the state.
According to OSPIRG, their campaignreceived additional endorsements from local restaurants who want to support bee populations due to their critical role in keeping food available and affordable.
Maria Rechdouni, founder of the Bee Friendly Committee, noted that UO received a Bee Campus USA certification in May due to the university’s bee-friendly work on itsUrban Farmproject. The City of Eugene was declared aBee City USAaffiliate in July 2018 as well.
Rechdouni also said that she hopes that future Bee Bash events will feature more booths and people to better increase support for bee populations.
Students who want to learn more about OSPIRG and the Save the Bees campaign can message @ospirgstudents on Instagram or Facebook to get information about meeting times or volunteer opportunities.