Skip directly to content

Latest News

Your (not so) “bee-friendly” plants

on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 00:00

Honey bee collecting nectar
Bee-harming pesticides in our lavender and daisies? In the same week that an international body of scientists released a comprehensive global assessment of the harms of pesticides to bees, a new report shows that these very same pesticides are found in many of our backyard plants — at levels of concern — that are meant to support pollinators.

The report shows that 51% of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers (Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart) in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key driver of declining bee populations.

Happy Pollinator Week!

on Mon, 06/16/2014 - 04:33

Pollinator Protection Week is here, folks. And to celebrate, we're kicking off the week with an online townhall discussion about bee declines, the impacts on our food system and what we can do to support thriving pollinator populations.

On top of that, we'll have a lively Twitter chat every day of the week on a range of topics at 10am PT. Hope you can join us for all of it!

Monday, 6/16: eTownhall, live streaming 6pm PT/9pm ET

"What's the buzz about?: A conversation about bee declines, impacts on our food system & what you can do about it"
 
Co-sponsored by Pesticide Action Network, Center

Minnesota for the bees!

on Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:00

A few weeks ago I heard Dr. Marla Spivak give a “State of the Bees” address to a packed auditorium in Minneapolis. At the end of her presentation, an audience member raised his hand and asked: “What state is doing the most to protect bees?” Dr. Spivak only paused for a moment before answering, “Well, I’d have to say Minnesota.”

Dr. Spivak may be biased, since her Bee Lab is based at the University of Minnesota (and I guess I could be too). But I think she’s onto something: Minnesota is getting a move on protecting its pollinators.

The excitement in Minnesota is due, in no small part, to

Bee aware

on Fri, 05/02/2014 - 15:01

We keep seven Langstroth hives at our home, on 2.2 acres. Our property has 61 organic fruit trees, many berries and about 3,000 sq ft of vegetables, which we mostly donate to the local charity of our choice. Of our seven hives, only three survived the winter, and they are very healthy — with queens imported from Australia, where they do not have a varoa mite infestation. We use no chemicals on our bees.

Two days ago, a big tanker truck pulled up next to our property.

In the spin cycle

on Thu, 05/01/2014 - 20:09

It's no surprise: pesticide corporations go to great lengths to protect the public image of their products. We've been highlighting their PR hijinks for years, and their attempts to spin facts to suit their agenda have only gotten more blatant.

Bees and pesticides provide the latest example. Corporate attempts to reframe the conversation, and subvert independent science, have gone into hyperdrive. Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto in particular are positioning themselves as "bee friendly" — no matter that several top selling pesticide products are directly linked to bee deaths.

Highlighting the

Neonic seed treatments don't add up

on Thu, 04/03/2014 - 00:00

Farmers have been saying it for years: it's nearly impossible to find corn seed that isn't pre-treated with neonicotinoid pesticides. At a Congressional briefing in DC last week, Dr. Christian Krupke of Purdue University presented hard data to support what farmers are reporting: 94% to 98% of corn seed in the U.S. is pre-treated with neonics. This is particularly bad news for pollinators, since we know neonics pose a threat to bees even at low levels.

Dr.

Building buzz for bees

on Thu, 03/20/2014 - 00:00

Pressure on the Environmental Protection Agency to safeguard bees continues to grow stronger. Today in DC, PAN joined partners to hand deliver a message from more than half a million people to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: Step up and prioritize protecting bees from harmful pesticides.

Even though independent studies clearly show that neonicotinoid pesticides (or "neonics") are hazardous to bees, EPA won't conclude its review of these chemicals until 2018. Meanwhile, neonics are the most widely used class of insecticides in the world.

Bee love, coast to coast

on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 00:00

Last Wednesday morning, thirty people braved the cold to swarm a Minneapolis Home Depot, asking the store to “show bees some love” on Valentine’s Day.

Babies in bee suits, beekeepers on bicycles, and a slew of other Minnesotans were eager to urge home garden stores to stop selling bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides — and plants pre-treated with "neonics." Retailers like Home Depot have a unique opportunity to act as industry leaders by taking these products, known to endanger bees, off their shelves.

Since I was visiting our Oakland office last week, I got to join my PAN colleagues and

Valentine's Day action!

on Tue, 02/11/2014 - 00:40

This week, bee lovers across the country will be “swarming” Home Depot and Lowe’s stores, calling on these major home garden retailers to stop selling pesticides that are harmful to bees.

Last August, a pilot study from Friends of the Earth found that many bee-friendly plants sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s come pretreated with neonicotinoids, insecticides that are a key contributor to bee die-offs. This week’s swarms will be nudging home garden stores to take neonicotinoids — and plants pretreated with these chemicals — off their shelves.                        

Home Depot and Lowe’s haven’t

Bad news for baby bees

on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 00:00

Neonicotinoid pesticides (or neonics) continue to gain notoriety as a driving factor in declining bee populations. But a mounting body of evidence also shows that neonics aren’t the only class of pesticides harming these critical pollinators.

A report released this week — by researchers from Penn State and the University of Florida — helps build a case that several pesticides commonly found in hives kill bee larvae.

Researchers tested four of the pesticides most commonly found in hives — chlorothalonil, chlorpyrifos, fluvalinate and coumaphos.

Pages