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Heather Pilatic's picture

Pesticides & the silencing of the bees

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This month marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the book that galvanized an extraordinary cross-section of the American public into what we now call the environmental movement. Fifty years later, her courage, skill and sacrifice still inspire, and her legacy remains the contested terrain of some of our country’s most disabling rituals of political partisanship. Pesticides still function as a kind of litmus test: either you’re for farmers and progress and “sound science,” or you’re in the camp of those reflexively “chemophobic” tree-hugging “environmentalists.” And your loyalties to one or the other of these tribes can be indexed to how you feel about pesticides.

Heather Pilatic
Pesticide Action Network's picture

EPA sidesteps chance to protect bees

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All too often, the rules of pesticide regulation are cumbersome and make for slow change. But EPA had an opportunity to take swift, decisive action to protect bees — and they let it pass. 

Today, the agency announced it is denying the request by beekeepers to declare Bayer's pesticide, clothianidin, an "imminent hazard" to bees and will not be suspending the chemical's use.  

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Heather Pilatic's picture

GE corn & sick honey bees - what's the link?

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No farmer in their right mind wants to poison pollinators. When I spoke with one Iowa corn farmer in January and told him about the upcoming release of a Purdue study confirming corn as a major neonicotinoid exposure route for bees, his face dropped with worn exasperation. He looked down for a moment, sighed and said, “You know, I held out for years on buying them GE seeds, but now I can’t get conventional seeds anymore. They just don’t carry ‘em."

Heather Pilatic
Pesticide Action Network's picture

Yet MORE evidence that pesticides are key culprit in bee die-offs

Scientific evidence continues to mount strengthening the case that neonicotinoid pesticides are indeed key drivers behind colony collapse disorder (CCD). Three new studies out in the past two weeks, including one today, add to the growing body of evidence that implicate pesticides as a critical catalyst behind drastic declines in bee population. 

With beekeepers continuing to lose more than one-third of their hives each year, on average, the research is timely. Yet pesticide manufacturers like Bayer are attacking the science and attempting to delay regulatory action.

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