The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has joined in this campaign to raise awareness of the critical need to protect bee populations. Please visit Save the Bees for more information.
When you go the site, you will be asked to take action -- sign the following letter, which will be sent to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy:
Dear Administrator McCarthy,
Honey bees, native bees and other pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat. Bees pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that make up 90 percent of the world’s food supply. Many fruits and vegetables, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, carrots and broccoli, as well as almonds and coffee, rely on bees. These beneficial insects are critical in maintaining our diverse food supply.
Honey bee populations have been in alarming decline since 2006. Widespread use of a new class of toxic pesticides, neonicotinoids, is a significant contributing factor. In addition to killing bees outright, research has shown that even low levels of these dangerous pesticides impair bees' ability to learn, to find their way back to the hive, to collect food, to produce new queens, and to mount an effective immune response.
This week, 15 countries are imposing a two-year restriction on the use of several of these chemicals. As you know, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates it will be 2018, five years from now, before it makes a decision on this deadly class of pesticides. We request an immediate moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
Bees can't wait five more years – they are dying now. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power and responsibility to protect our pollinators. Our nation's food system depends on it.
Go here to sign this letter to the EPA.
Photo: CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons