Bees are dying at alarming rates, and neonic pesticides are a key contributor to the problem based on a strong and growing body of science:

Beekeepers have lost an average of 30% of their hives in recent years, with some beekeepers losing all of their hives and many leaving the industry. This is too high to be sustainable.

Recent losses are staggering making it difficult for beekeepers to stay in business and for farmers to meet their pollination needs for important crops like almonds and berries.

Bee Happy @mamakautz

*A growing body of science implicates neonic pesticides –one of the most widely used class of insecticides in the world, manufactured by Bayer and Syngenta –as a key factor in recent bee die-offs.

*Neonics can kill bees outright and make them more vulnerable to pests, pathogens and other stressors while impair their foraging and feeding abilities, reproduction and memory.

*Neonics are widely used in the U.S. on 140 crops and for cosmetic use in gardens. Neonics can last in soil, water and the environment for months to years to come.

*Neonics are also harming other helpful insects and animals critical to sustainable food production and healthy ecosystems, like wild bees, butterflies, dragonflies, lacewings, and ladybugs, birds, earthworms, mammals and aquatic insects.

Water for the Bees @Mamakautz

*A meta-analysis of more than 1,200peer-reviewed studies released by the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides –a group of global, independent scientists –confirms neonics are a key factor in bee declines and are harming beneficial organisms essential to functional ecosystems and food production, including soil microbes, butterflies, earthworms, reptiles, and birds. The Task Force called for immediate regulatory action to restrict neonicotinoids.

*A recent study by a group of Swedish scientists found neonicotinoids may actually be addictive to beesand another recent study by New Castle University concluded that treating flowering crops with commonly used neonicotinoids “presents a sizeable hazard to foraging bees”, and recommends that reducing pesticide use “may be the only certain” way to halt beeand pollinator declines.

*Good resource: Pesticide Action Network State of the Science reportU.S. EPA needs to stepup and protect the environment. There is an urgent need to restrict neonics in the U.S. and Canada.

*The European Union has put a 2 year suspension on the most widely used neonics in an effort to protect bees. A scientific review by European Food Safety Authority(EFSA) states that neonicotinoids pose an unacceptably high risk to bees.

*The Ontario government became the first state or province in North America to restrict neonicotinoids to reverse bee declines.The province plans to reduce the use of neonicotinoids on corn and soybeans by 80% by 2017.

*Cities, states and universities across the U.S. have taken steps to restrict neonicotinoids including: Oregon, Minnesota, Seattle, Thurston County and Spokane, WA, Shorewood, St. Louis, and Andover, Stillwater, MN, Ogunquit, ME, and Eugene, Portland and Cannon Beach, OR, Emory University and Vermont Law School.

This will make for happy bees @mamakautz

*The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will phase out neonics by 2016.

*The Council on Environmental Quality released a guidance in October recommending that federal facilities and federal lands, not use systemic insecticides or acquire seeds and plants from nurseries that have been treated with systemic insecticides. These guidelines have the potential to increase the demand by the federal government for truly pollinator friendly plants.

*The EPA announced a moratorium on new or expanded uses of neonicotinoids while it evaluates the risks posed to pollinators.While this is a good first step, there are more than 500 neonicotinoid products

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