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Protect Honeybees from these Dangerous Pesticides

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Urge the EPA to outlaw neonicotinoid pesticides that are killing off honey bees.

It's long been known that Earth's honey bee population is decreasing at an alarming rate. The fact is, much of our natural ecosystem depends on the processes involved with bee pollination, and if this pollination cannot happen, many of our crops, from broccoli to strawberries, will be in grave peril.

In fact, honey bee deaths are reaching a critical point, whereby it may not be possible to reverse the damage. Much of the population decline can be attributed to reversible human actions, including the use of neonicotinoids, insecticides chemically related to nicotine that cause honeybees, bumblebees, and beneficial ladybugs to literally drop dead1.

After being applied as seed treatments, neonicotinoids occur in trace levels in the nectar and pollen of crop plants, where they may be consumed or brought back to the colonies of social bees2. The chemicals dissolve in water and are long-lasting in the environment, leading them to build up surprisingly high concentrations in the pollen and nectar of wildflowers near treated crops3.

Neonicotinoid pesticides affect both bumblebee colony growth and foraging efficiency4. These toxins are linked to impairment of the bees' learning and memory5. Neonicotinoids also interfere with the honeybees' antennal lobe functionality, making it hard for honeybees to perceive differences in odor2.

Over the winter, as When the bees lay dormant to conserve energy, neocontinoids are actually a greater threat6.

Acknowledging the serious threat that neonicotinoids present to honeybees, the EPA released proposed restraints for their use7 but has not prohibited them, which means our bees are still in danger.

We can afford insects eating our plant life; but we simply cannot afford a decimation of the honey bee. Sign the petition below and demand that the EPA outlaw these immensely harmful pesticides.

More on this issue:

  1. Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming (4 August 2020), "Colony Collapse Toll Is Highest In Four Years For U.S. Honeybees."
  2. F. Muth, A. S. Leonard, Scientific Reports (18 March 2019), "A neonicotinoid pesticide impairs foraging, but not learning, in free-flying bumblebees."
  3. Christian H. Krupke, Greg J. Hunt, Brian D. Eitzer, Gladys Andino, Krispn Given, PLOS ONE (3 January 2012), "Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields."
  4. Penelope R. Whitehorn, Stephanie O'Connor, Felix L. Wackers, Dave Goulson, Science (20 April 2012), "Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production."
  5. Harry Siviter, Julia Koricheva, Mark J. F. Brown, Ellouise Leadbeater, Journal of Applied Ecology (10 July 2018), "Quantifying the impact of pesticides on learning and memory in bees."
  6. Muhammad Shoaib Saleem, Zachary Y. Huang and Meghan O. Milbrath, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution (19 October 2020), "Neonicotinoid Pesticides Are More Toxic to Honey Bees at Lower Temperatures: Implications for Overwintering Bees."
  7. United States Environmental Protection Agency (9 June 2021), "EPA Actions to Protect Pollinators."
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The Petition:

To the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency:

If we don't act now to save Earth's honey bee population, we could reach a critical point of no return. You see, the planet's honey bees have been in steady decline for several years now — climate change, parasites, habitat loss are all contributors. Some of these issues are going to be difficult to tackle, but there's one catalyst that humans can act on right now.

Bees are dying in large numbers as a result of the use of certain neonicotinoids to treat our crops over the past decade. Previously thought to be non-toxic to these precious pollinators, more recent peer-reviewed studies have linked the proliferation of neonicotinoids to a decrease in queen production and an increase in "disappeared" bees, the ones that never return to the hive from their foraging trips.

While insect pests are detrimental to our crops, the loss of our honey bees would be catastrophic. We can handle some less-than-ideal produce. But we can't handle a total decimation of our food supply as a result of lack of bee pollination.

You have the power to save our nation's food supply. Don't let this opportunity slip away: outlaw the use of the neonicotinoids killing our honey bees.

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