A Summer To Swarm The EPA

Millions of bees are dying off, with alarming consequences for our environment and our food supply. So, we spent the summer organizing a swarm of support to call on the Environmental Protection Agency to save the bees.

Suzannah Hoover

We rely on bees to pollinate everything from almonds to strawberries to the alfalfa used to feed dairy cows. Could bee species go extinct? According to a United Nations study, yes, they could. What happens if bees disappear? It’s simple: No bees, no food.

One major threat to bee populations is a class of neonictinoids, or neonics. When seeds are treated with neonics, the chemicals work their way into the pollen and nectar of the plants — which, of course, is bad news for bees and other pollinators. Worse, for the bees and for us, neonics are about 6,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.

It makes no sense to “save” our farms and food from weeds and pests by risking the destruction of the bees that make our farms and food possible.

That’s why our network is calling for a complete ban on bee-killing pesticides.

Environment America, Impact organizers, and the Student PIRGs have joined forces to make the case for a ban, among decision-makers as well as the general public.

We’ve reached more than 670,000 people with our message through a combination of direct, face-to-face outreach and awareness-raising events — like our attention-grabbing Fourth of July cookouts without all the foods that rely on bees.

Tens of thousands of people have signed our petition and hundreds more have picked up the phone in response to our monthly “Give the EPA a Buzz” phone banks.

Winning a complete ban will be a challenge, but it’s more likely today thanks to the growing numbers of farmers, neighbors, gardeners, students and others who are joining the call to save our bees.

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