Pesticide Action Network 4/3/14
Spring is in the air, blossoms are blooming and bees are buzzing — but not enough of them. These vital pollinators are still in serious trouble, and federal policymakers are still dragging their feet.
It’s time for California to take the lead! Call on your state legislators to step up and support the new bee bill, AB 1789.
Follow the science & protect bees » Over the 2012/2013 winter, beekeepers reported record-breaking losses of 40% or more. While we don’t yet know the total losses for this winter, the science is increasingly clear: neonicotinoid pesticides (or “neonics”) are a key factor in declining bee populations. Urge your state legislator to support AB 1789, a bill to help protect bees.
California began its review of neonicotinoid pesticides back in 2009, but the state Department of Pesticide Regulation has yet to finish its evaluation and develop an action plan. AB 1789 sets a firm deadline to ensure this process stays on track.
Already, neonics have been linked to massive bee kills. And studies show that even at non-lethal doses, these pesticides can suppress bees’ immune systems and interfere with critical brain functions they need to navigate, forage and reproduce.
The problem of bee declines is a global one, and other countries have been stepping up. After being alerted by concerned scientists, the European Union instituted a two-year moratorium on the use of neonics in December of last year.
We need decisive action here, too.
Protect bees now » Bees are vital to our food and farming system, and they provide a critical service for California's agricultural economy. The state's almond industry — valued at about $3 billion — relies on honey bees to pollinate its orchards. When their work here is done, the bees move on to pollinate other crops around the country.
While other factors are also contributing to bee declines — like habitat loss, pathogens and nutrition — pesticides are playing a key role. And by passing this bill, state legislators will ensure California is on the right track to address the pesticide problem head on. With your help, we can convince policymakers to step up!
Thank you for bee-ing in action.