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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.


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