The Bee Cause
New study shows over half of “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at garden centres in Canada contain bee-killing pesticide!
A new report, Gardeners Beware 2014, released by Friends of the Earth Canada, Friends of the Earth U.S. with Pesticide Research Institute (PRI); reports that 51% of the total samples collected across 18 cities in Canada and the U.S. contain the bee-killing neonicotinoids.
What You Can Do:
Take The Pledge – to do all you can to help save the bees, birds and butterflies.
Sign to Stop Bee-Killing Pesticide Use in Garden Centre Plants – We are calling on gardeners across the country to take a stand against nursery bedding plants and vegetable plants treated with neonicotinoids. Sign our petition to urge the top selling Garden Centres in Canada plants treated with neonicotinoids.
Create A Bee Cause Space – Here at Friends of the Earth, we wanted to know what can people who live in urban areas, apartments and small houses do? We put our heads together, and with the help of experts such as Professor Dave Goulson, Dr. Elizabeth Elle, Sheila Forsyth and Scott McIvor, we have compiled some things you can do to help our pollinating friends!
Volunteer with the Bee Cause! – We are looking for fun and friendly volunteers to help us spread the word about saving the bees from neonics in home garden and vegetable plants!
Donate - to Friends of the Earth’s Bee Cause Campaign and help us fight for the bees, birds and other pollinators!
The Bee Cause calls for a ban on bee harmful pesticides and practices while proposing and delivering practical ways to help bees and wild pollinators.
Bees are very important in Canada with estimates of $1.7 billion value for their pollination services and $146 million of honey produced annually.
Bees are under many stresses in Canada. For example, in winter 2012-13, Canada lost 29% of its honey bee colonies and the provinces of Ontario lost 40% and New Brunswick 37%.
Dramatic die-off of thousands of honey bee colonies in Ontario and Quebec in 2012 & 2013 has been tied to the use of pesticides called “neonictinoids” while planting corn and soybeans. Honey bee mortality in 2014 seems to be as dramatic in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba with more beekeepers reporting into the federal agency, PMRA.
What are Neonicotinoids?
Neonicotinoids (neonics) are systemic pesticides that are absorbed into plant tissues including flowers. They’re highly soluble and leach into ground water and contaminate soil. They are applied to corn and soybeans and a variety of other crops using sprays, seed coatings, soil drenches and granules.
The European Union decided to ban the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam) for two years while impact studies are done.
Friends of the Earth believes that neonicotinoids should be removed from the Canadian market until proven safe.
Dave Goulson discusses bees, neonics and the other challenges bees face in this video series created by FOE Canada. Click here to watch.
What We’ve Done:
Friends of the Earth Canada has taken various steps towards educating the public and government about the dangers of neonicotinoids.
Friends of the Earth Canada wanted to know what the public’s position on the use of neonics in farms and urban envrionments. In partnership with Oracle Polls, FOE conducted a poll which found over 80% of Ontarions support the ban of neonics in favour of more research. Read the full poll results here.
Friends of the Earth Canada hosted bee expert Dave Goulson in November 2013 in Toronto. Dave shared his experiences in assisting the EU ban the use of neonicotinoids with various Ontario decision makers. He also worked with us to create these educational videos about our pollinating friends and neonics.
In 2013, Friends of the Earth also submitted a Notice of Objection to a Registration Decision of the Pest Control Acts, and a “Comment on Notice of Intent to Protect Bees from Exposure to Neonicotinoid Pesticides.”
Friends of the Earth’s ongoing campaigning has continued with an additional focus on consumers and the marketplace. FOE partnered with their American partners, Friends of the Earth U.S. and many other groups to test for neonics in Garden Centres bedding plants. See the report here.
Friends of the Earth CEO Beatrice Olivastri wrote a letter to the City of London to support the Ace Working Group recommendation “London as a Pollinator Sanctuary.” Read the Letter here.
Honey bees get support in Niagara Falls by-election polling. February 6, 2013
Stop Honey Bee Carnage Say Eight Out of Ten Ontarians. November 7, 2013
Friends of the Earth Canada Objects to Feds’ Renewal of Bee Toxic Pesticide. September 22, 2013