Be not afraid of spooky creatures says Friends of the Earth to Lowes’ Staff on Halloween – But make sure bees aren’t afraid of your products
Sometime in the next three days, you may find yourself face to face with a bumble bee, a witch, a skeleton or some other spooky Halloween creature that’s asking you and your employer to do your part to save the bees. In the lead-up to Halloween 2014, Friends of the Earth and millions of its supporters across North America are petitioning your CEO, Robert Niblock, asking for his leadership to remove bee-killing pesticides from your products and shelves. And many of them may swarm your store – don’t be afraid of them however spooky they look. Even if you’re not wearing antennae or wings, you’ve got a lot in common with these action-seeking folk.
I’m sure, as someone working for a top company dedicated to meeting growing consumer demand for environmentally friendly garden products, you and Friends of the Earth supporters know that removing bee-harmful pesticides from your shelves makes sense. We assume you want home gardeners to trust your company and your products to be truly “bee-friendly”. But, as we’ve shared with you earlier this year, over half of “bee-friendly” garden plants purchased at Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart in 18 cities across the US and Canada contained neonicotinoid pesticides at levels that harm or even kill bees.
The science is clear that neonicotinoids are a leading driver of bee decline and are harming many other important and beneficial creatures including birds, bats, butterflies, dragonflies, lacewinds, ladybugs, earthworms, small mammals, and more. Earlier this year, a global body of twenty-nine independent scientists, The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, reviewed more than 800 peer-reviewed studies published in the last five years – they’re calling for immediate regulatory action to restrict neonicotinoids to avoid a “second Silent Spring”. This same groups of scientists found that neonicotinoids are 5,000 to 10,000 times more acutely toxic to bees than DDT.
It’s late October and all over North America, we’ve put our gardens to bed, we’re enjoying the year’s harvest, and we’re beginning to dream of what we’ll do next year with our precious plots of land. I’m sure Lowes will not want me to be spooked from buying bee-friendly plants in your store. So the time to act is now – tell your CEO to step up to go neonicotinoid-free.