EU Nations Back Ban On Insecticides To Protect Honey Bees

REUTERS    By Philip Blenkinsop     April 2017 2018

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union countries backed a proposal on Friday to ban all use outdoors of insecticides known as neonicotinoids that studies have shown can harm bees.

The ban, championed by environmental activists, covers the use of three active substances - imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries and Bayer CropScience as well as Syngenta’s thiamethoxam.

“All outdoor uses will be banned and the neonicotinoids in question will only be allowed in permanent greenhouses where exposure of bees is not expected,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Bayer called the ban “a sad day for farmers and a bad deal for Europe” and said it would not help bees. Many farmers, it said, had no other way of controlling pests and that the result was more spraying and a return to older, less effective chemicals.

The use of neonicotinoids in the European Union has been restricted to certain crops since 2013, but environmental groups have called for a total ban and sparked a debate across the continent about the wider use of chemicals in farming.

Campaign group Friends of the Earth described the decision of EU governments a “tremendous victory” for bees and for the environment.

“The European Commission must now focus on developing a strong pollinator initiative that boosts bee-friendly habitat and helps farmers cut pesticide-use,” it said.

Both Bayer and Syngenta have challenged the 2013 partial ban at the European Court of Justice. A verdict is due on May 17.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-environment-bees/eu-to-fully-ban-neonicotinoid-insecticides-to-protect-bees-idUSKBN1HY11W

NOTE: From SumofUs

I'm writing quickly to let you know some breaking news: WE WON! The EU neonics ban just passed.

A majority of European governments voted in favour of the European Commission's proposal.

This is a massive win for the bees -- and you and SumOfUs members around the world have helped make this happen. Thank you so much for your incredible support!

I'll be in touch in the coming days with a more detailed report back.

In the meantime, let's celebrate!

Wiebke and rest of the SumOfUs team

P.S. It’s only thanks to SumOfUs members like you that we won this amazing and historic bee-saving ban. But the battle to save the bees is far from over. Bayer and co will not give up now and neither can we. To keep the bees safe from pesticide giants we need sustained support from members like you -- it’s the most powerful form of support. Please can you set up a small monthly donation today so that we can keep fighting for and saving the bees.

Insecticide Could Be Culprit in Honey Bee Die Offs

New York Post     Reuters   August 18, 2015

A type of insecticide under scrutiny by the White House because of fears about its impact on honeybees has been found in more than half of streams sampled across the United States, according to a study by government researchers published Tuesday.

The study, published in Environmental Chemistry and conducted by US Geological Survey researchers, found that five types of insecticides that are known as neonicotinoids were present in varying degrees in 149 samples taken from 48 streams.

At least one type was detected in 63 percent of the samples collected, USGS researcher Michael Focazio said. The samples included many waterways through the Midwest and Southeast. Concentration levels varied.

Over the last few years, evidence has mounted that links the use of neonics, as they are known, to widespread die-offs of honeybees needed to pollinate crops. There are also fears the insecticides are harming other pollinators.

Neonicotinoids, chemically similar to nicotine, are one of the fastest-growing classes of insecticides worldwide and are used both in agricultural and urban settings. They are popular with farmers and are often used to coat seeds before they are planted.

The study represents the first national-scale investigation of the environmental occurrence of neonicotinoid insecticides in agricultural and urban settings, the USGS said. The research spanned 24 states as well as Puerto Rico.

“In the study, neonicotinoids occurred throughout the year in urban streams while pulses of neonicotinoids were typical in agricultural streams during crop planting season,” USGS research chemist Michelle Hladik, the report’s lead author, said in a statement.

Neonics and their impact on the environment have been a topic of debate in Washington lately.

The US Environmental Protection Agency in May proposed a rule that would create temporary pesticide-free zones to protect commercial honeybees.

The restrictions are aimed at protecting honeybees, which pollinate plants that produce roughly a quarter of the food consumed by Americans. Losses of managed honeybee colonies hit 42.1 percent from April 2014 through April 2015, up from 34.2 percent for 2013-2014, and the second-highest annual loss to date, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Beekeepers, environmental groups and some scientists say it is the neonics that are harming the bees.

Agrichemical companies including Bayer and Syngenta disagree, and instead blame mite infestations and other factors.

Read at: http://nypost.com/2015/08/18/insecticide-could-be-culprit-in-honeybee-die-offs/

USGS Summary: Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Found in About Haqlf of Sampled Streams Across the United States

Take Action: Sign Petition to Home Depot, Lowe's and Other Retailers

Some of Us.org    Stop Selling the bee-poisioning neonics

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bees are dying off around the world in record numbers
 -- but big retailers are still selling the poison that is killing them.

Last season, 37 million bees (!) died on a single North American farm. Scientists now know why – study after study shows that deadly pesticides called "neonics", manufactured by Bayer, are killing them. 

Home Depot and Lowe's are still selling the deadly pesticides, but pressure is mounting. If one of the stores commits to stop carrying the pesticides, it could start a snowball effect that sees rival stores drop the bee-killing chemicals too.

In just two weeks, SumOfUs' activist beekeepers will travel to deliver our petition to the corporations on their home turf. Can you add your name now, so the retailers see the tide of public opinion and commit to stop selling bee-killing pesticides?

Tell Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop selling bee-killing pesticides.

Earlier this year, SumOfUs supporters called on these retail giants to stop selling neonics, with thousands flooding their phone lines and speaking out in store. Now, we've learnt that Home Depot could be on the cusp of doing the right thing and taking the bee-killing chemicals off its shelves. We need to send a message to tip Home Depot over the edge, and pressure its rival Lowe's to act as well.

The dangerous chemical Bayer makes is a neonicotinoid, or neonic. Neonics are soaked into seeds, spreading through the plant and killing insects stopping by for a snack -- and sold in garden stores around the world, too. These pesticides can easily be replaced by other chemicals which don’t have such a devastating effect on the food chain. But companies like Bayer and Syngenta make a fortune from selling neonics -- so they’ll do everything they can to protect their profits. 

History shows that consumer pressure on retailers works. Europe's partial ban on neonics was caused by a huge movement that pushed some of the biggest retailers in the EU to voluntarily remove neonics from their shelves. If we can make sure that Home Depot and Lowe's drop neonics, smaller North American retailers are bound to follow. But there is not a moment to lose. Please take action now to keep the pressure on Home Depot and Lowe's so we can protect our bees and our planet's future

Call on Home Depot and Lowe’s to get rid of the bee-killing neonics.

SumOfUs has been right at the front of the global campaign to save our bees. We came together to fight Bayer at a huge independent garden store show in Chicago, where the German chemical maker was out in force. We're taking legal action in Europe to defend the EU's ban against Bayer, and just last week spoke out at Bayer's annual shareholder meeting in Germany. But to win this fight, we need to push the retailers to drop these bee-killing pesticides now.

**********
More information:

CNBC: Bee activists swarm Home Depot and Lowe's, 14 February 2014
Mother Jones: 3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide, 29 March, 2013

Photo credit: Benny Kennedy

Bee Action Campaign

Friends of the Earth   April 28, 2014

Friends of the Earth    Bee Action.org    News Release    New Report

We've released a new report today, highlighting how agro-chemical companies, such as Bayer, are using deceptive PR tactics to delay action on neonicotinoid pesticides and boost their profits.
Please join us in calling on Bayer to stop selling these bee-killing pesticides. www.beeaction.org

Accused of Harming Bees, Bayer Researches a Different Culprit

The New York Times   By Danny Hakim   12/11/13

MONHEIM, Germany - Bayer cares about bees. 

Or at least that’s what they tell you at the company’s Bee Care Center on its sprawling campus here between Düsseldorf and Cologne. Outside the cozy two-story building that houses the center is a whimsical yellow sculpture of a bee. Inside, the same image is fashioned into paper clips, or printed on napkins and mugs.

“Bayer is strictly committed to bee health,” said Gillian Mansfield, an official specializing in strategic messaging at the company’s Bayer CropScience division. She was sitting at the center’s semicircular coffee bar, which has a formidable espresso maker and, if you ask, homegrown Bayer honey. On the surrounding walls, bee fun facts are written in English, like “A bee can fly at roughly 16 miles an hour” or, it takes “nectar from some two million flowers in order to produce a pound of honey.” Next year, Bayer will open another Bee Care Center in Raleigh, N.C., and has not ruled out more in other parts of the world.

There is, of course, a slight caveat to all this buzzy good will.

Bayer is one of the major producers of a type of pesticide that the European Union has linked to the large-scale die-offs of honey bee populations in North America and Western Europe. They are known as neonicotinoids, a relatively new nicotine-derived class of pesticide. The pesticide was banned this year for use on many flowering crops in Europe that attract honey bees.

Bayer and two competitors, Syngenta and BASF, have disagreed vociferously with the ban, and are fighting in the European courts to overturn it...

Read more...  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/12/business/energy-environment/accused-of-harming-bees-bayer-researches-a-different-culprit.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

Bayer launches Bee Care Tour…

(The following is brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company 2/28/13


ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 27, 2013- A national Bee Care Tour will encourage growers, beekeepers and researchers to focus on the myriad of factors causing the decline in honey bee populations, said Robyn Kneen, Bayer CropScience’s North America Bee Health Project Manager. 

Bayer’s mobile Bee Care Tour is launching this week in Orlando, Florida, and will travel to university agriculture schools and farm communities across Corn Belt states over the next three months. Tour stops will include The Ohio State University in Wooster (register hereto attend); University of Illinois in Urbana; Iowa State University in Ames; The University of Nebraska in Lincoln; and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

 “There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and that’s why Bayer is taking a proactive approach toward dealing with this issue,” Kneen said, regarding speculation on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). 

“That term has been utilized to refer to all honey bee losses,” Kneen said. 

However, “researchers have reached a consensus that this is a complex issue.” What is labeled by some as CCD is actually the result of a variety of problems, including...

Read more...