I was just reading a sad and disturbing article from the Economist on bees that my father sent me recently and then opened up my computer to an email alert from Avaaz to Save the Bees. Here follow excerpts from both the article and the action alert in case you might be inclined to sign the petition.
Evidence is growing that commonly used pesticides, even when employed carefully, are bad for bees
Subtle poison – Mar 31st 2012 | from The Economist print edition
IN THE winter of 2006 beekeepers in America noticed something odd—lots of their hives were dying for no obvious reason. As the months passed, reports of similar phenomena began coming in from their European counterparts. Mystified scientists coined the label “colony collapse disorder” (CCD) to describe what was happening. Since then, much brow-sweat has been expended trying to work out just what CCD really is.
Dying bees are a problem, and not just for apiarists. Bees pollinate many of the world’s crops—a service estimated to be worth $15 billion a year in America alone. And there is no shortage of theories to explain the insects’ decline. Climate change, habitat destruction, a paralysing virus, fungal infection and even a plague of parasitic mites have all been proposed. But one of the leading ideas is that the bees are suffering from the effects of neonicotinoids, a class of commonly used pesticides, introduced in the 1990s, which are toxic to insects but much less so to mammals. Read full article on the Economist’s website.
Avaaz: 24 Hours to Save the Bees!
Posted: 24 April 2012
Quietly, globally, billions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. But if Bayer stops selling one group of pesticides, we could save bees from extinction.
Four European countries have begun banning these poisons, and some bee populations are already recovering. But Bayer, the largest producer of neonicotinoids, has lobbied hard to keep them on the market. Now, massive global pressure from Avaaz and others has forced them to consider the facts, and in 24 hours, Bayer shareholders will vote on a motion that could stop these toxic chemicals. Let’s all act now and shame the shareholders to stop killing bees.
The pressure is working, and this is our best chance to save the bees. Sign the urgent petition and send this to everyone — let’s reach half a million signers and deliver it directly to shareholders tomorrow in Germany!
Sign the petition here.