If you have been worried that the flowers you bring home from Lowe’s and other big nurseries will kill the bees and butterflies, you may be comforted to know that Lowe’s and other big stores are lurching into action, getting ready to remove the offending, neonicotinoid-treated plants. But for now, it’s still, consumer beware, or at least, consumer, ask a lot of questions.
A coalition of environmental groups that asked followers to send Valentines to Lowes and Home Depot on behalf of honey bees, felt the love this week as thousands participated. The campaign asks the stores to stop selling pesticides that are killing the pollinators. Find out how you can participate.
Beekeepers and environmental groups sued the EPA this week for allowing pesticides that are causing an epidemic of bee deaths. The suit asks the agency to suspend the permits for certain pesticides, which have been shown to poison bees, which in turn threatens a wide array of crops dependent on bee pollination.
Several years ago researchers pinpointed a class of insecticides known as neonicitinoids as having an especially devastating impact on honey bees. Now, European scientists said they are convinced that the neonicitinoid pesticides pose a clear threat.
“In the United States, drastic action is needed,” says Canadian geneticist Joe Cummins, explaining that U.S. farmers and beekeepers shouldn’t have to wait for more evidence or for an air-tight explanation for the complex syndrome, which threatens one in every third bite of food in the United States. Now most apiarists and scientists realize that pesticides are a factor in CCD, he says.
Cummins’ remarks, in an interview with GreenRightNow, come less than a month after Germany’s ban of clothianidin, a pesticide commonly used to keep insects off of corn crops. Germany banned the pesticide after heaps of dead bees were found near fields of corn coated in the pesticide, and in response to scientists who report that the insecticide severely impairs, and often kills, the honeybees that corn and other crops depend on for pollination.
Haagen-Dazs says it “hearts” honeybees. To underscore this claim, the all-natural ice creamery is putting its money where its mouth is – donating $250,000 worth in cash to the cause and pouring much more into advertising and promotions designed to aid the humble worker.
As American apiarists monitor their hives this winter for signs of Colony Collapse Disorder and many others watch helplessly as the syndrome decimates their beeyards, the General Mills giant has made a move to help. On Monday (Feb. 18), it announced the launch of “Haagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees,” a multi-prong campaign to fund research and increase public awareness of the mysterious syndrome that has gutted at least 25 percent of America’s prime pollinators over the past few years.