Although no one knows the exact cause(s) of colony collapse disorder for certain, more and more scientific data points the finger at a new, extremely wide-spread class of toxic pesticides called neonicotinoids or neonics, for short.
At high doses, neonics can kill bees outright. At low doses, they weaken their immune systems and impair critical brain functions, making it hard for bees to find their food or remember how to get back to the hive. Neonics also remain in the plants and the soil of our gardens for months or even years, continuing to poison bees.
But so far, the U.S. response has been to pretend the fact that our honey bees are dying in droves is not a huge, food security and ecosystem-threatening problem. Clearly, a brilliant strategy...
It gets a little worse (but don't despair, I will get to the optimistic part in a moment, promise!), a recent report found bee-killing pesticides in more than half of the “bee-friendly” plants sold at stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s -- with no warning to consumers.
This means that many people who’ve been trying to help by filling their yards and gardens with bee-friendly plants have been unintentionally poisoning the very bees they’re trying to protect. Oh, the humanity!!! If it weren't so sad, it would definitely be funny.
But before you start thinking up ways to get EU citizenship, I want to share a simple way you can help the bees this week. Join the national swarm for pollinators by asking Home Depot and Lowe's to stop selling these bee-killing pesticides.
This will help and it is really easy - it'll take less than two minutes to send your message. And if you're feeling extra fired up, you can also call Home Depot (1-800-466-3337) and Lowe's (1-800-445-6937) to make sure they get the message.
Then please share the campaign to "build the buzz" this week. And stay tuned - there are some other great opportunities to get involved in helping honey bees coming up very soon.
Awareness is growing and I think we can turn the tide soon and convince our government to follow the EU's lead if enough of us get involved.
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