Millions of bees are dying off, with alarming consequences for our environment and our food supply.
We rely on bees to pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that provide 90% of most of the world’s food. Imagine no almonds, fewer apples and strawberries, less alfalfa to feed dairy cows, and the list goes on.
What happens if the bees disappear? It’s simple: No bees, no food.
Scientists point to several causes behind the problem, including global warming, habitat loss, parasites and a class of bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids (or neonics).
When seeds are treated with neonics, the chemicals work their way into the pollen and nectar of the plants — which, of course, is bad news for bees and other pollinators. Worse, for the bees and for us, neonics are about 6,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.
Right now, we’re letting big agrichemical companies use more of the chemicals that are known to kill bees just as we’re in the midst of an unsustainable die-off in bee populations. That has to change.
To save the bees we need to phase out and then ban the use of neonics and we need to ensure that they are not replaced with equally or more dangerous chemicals.
We’re calling on the governor to ban neonic pesticides and save the bees
We have a great track-record on this issue. We worked to get Ashland, Eugene, Southern Oregon University, and University of Oregon to become Bee Friendly. We know when we demonstrate broad student support, we can protect our pollinators.
Last fall, we called on the governor to direct the Department of Agriculture to put neonics on the Restricted Use Pesticide list. In addition to collecting 4,000 petition signatures, we had restaurants join the Bee Friendly Food alliance and held a Bee Bash concert with nearly 200 attendees to get the media to pay attention. This term, we’re headed to Salem to speak to our state leaders about taking action to bee heros.
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