EPA Must Get Serious About Protecting Bees From Toxic Pesticides

Bee numbers continue to decline at an unprecedented rate. Within just the last year more than 42 percent of managed honeybee colonies were lost. With one in three bites of food depending on bee pollination, this rate is unsustainable for both the beekeeping industry and our food supply. The research is clear, and it’s no longer a mystery why bees are dying: The use of toxic insecticides called neonicotinoids (neonics) is having a devastating impact on both wild pollinators and managed honeybees. These chemicals are systemic and persistent, meaning once applied they make the entire plant poisonous to bees, and they can remain in the environment for months or even years.

EPA, through the president’s National Pollinator Health Strategy, has acknowledged that pesticides are a problem. The agency has stopped allowing any new neonic products and proposed slight changes to the labels of these pesticides. But while EPA says it’s continuing to study how these pesticides hurt bees, products still remain on the market, and “temporary pesticide free zones” won’t do enough to address persistent and systemic neonics.

Bees need real protections from toxic pesticides now. It’s time for EPA to get serious about protecting bees by suspending neonics all together as the agency continues to gather data.

Please join us in calling on EPA to “Save Our Bees” by suspending bee-toxic neonic pesticides.

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