Honey bee colony losses continue at alarming rates. 2019 saw the highest summer loss rate ever reported.
The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators has stepped up to address the crisis with legislation to restrict the use of bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics).
Across the country, 40 neonic bills have been introduced in 16 states.
TAKE ACTION: Ask your state legislator to support a ban on bee-killing neonic seed treatments.
What began with the collapse of bee colonies has become a full-on insect apocalypse that scientists say is “tearing apart the tapestry of life”, devastating bird populations, harming deer and rabbits, impacting human health and threatening the future of foods that rely on pollinators.
The U.S. agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to bees than it was 25 years ago and crop yields for apples, cherries and blueberries are already being reduced by a lack of pollinators.
Why? Because of Bayer’s business model: genetically modified seeds soaked in bee-killing neonic insecticides.
In the 1980s, Bayer invented synthetic neonicotinoid compounds that could be applied to the seed of a plant and remain effective for the plant’s entire lifespan.
By 2004, Bayer had agreements with the top genetically modified seed companies to coat their seeds with massive amounts of neonics.
By 2007, 80 percent of the corn seed sold by market-leader Pioneer (Monsanto’s rival-cum-partner) was treated with Bayer’s clothianidin-based Poncho.
By 2008, Colony Collapse Disorder was a worldwide problem.
Today, nearly all corn seeds and about half of soybean seeds are coated in neonics.
Bayer takes advantage of the fact that, in the US, seed treatments aren’t regulated as pesticides. Seed treatments used to be measured in overall neonic use, but the US Geological Survey started leaving them out in 2014.
That’s crazy, because just one corn seed can hold enough neonics to kill a quarter-million bees!
TAKE ACTION: Tell your state legislators to ban neonic seed treatments!