As you know by now, I'm a huge fan of bees. Of course, I'm not allergic to them (at least, as far as I know), so I don't have the same concern that some of you have. Allergies or not, the fact is we need bees.Without these pollinators, we're doomed, although I strongly suspect Monsanto already has developed artificial pollinators so they can save the day after all the big bee-killing corporations have killed all of our bees with their chemicals and GMOs. But that's a side issue.
Yesterday, someone from Penn Environment knocked on our door. It was not a good time for me to talk, but the individual asked for me by name, so my husband called me out of my office. Of course, the young man wanted a donation or at least a commitment to become a monthly donor. He told me all about the demise of bees -- "Millions of bees are dying each year, in the U.S. and around the world, with alarming consequences for our environment and our food supply." Yes, yes, I know. He continued, "We rely on bees to pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that provide 90 percent of the world's food, like chocolate and coffee." He was really trying to pull on my heart/purse strings with that one. "The bottom line: No bees, no food."
I told him I know all about this and that I actually write about it and try to inform others about the problems with neonicotinoids -- which, by the way, I mentioned, but he did not. Was it possible I knew more about the problem than he did? I let him know about the bee-saving campaign we successfully waged against Home Depot and Lowe's regarding the use of neonics in their plants -- he was clueless. He did, however, tell me about the push by Bayer, Dow Chemical, and Syngenta for even more chemicals that would have disastrous results. These huge corporations are using their power, money, and clout to try to stop the bans we're pushing for against the neonics and other chemicals. He handed me a flyer and here is part of what it says:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has committed to phasing out these pesticides on the public lands they manage. Seattle, Minnesota and Oregon have all agreed to take some form of action against neonics. Some companies are taking action as well.
In order to restore bee colonies to health, we need the Environmental Protection Agency to step up and take the lead. We're in the midst of an unsustainable die-off in bee populations, but right now we're letting big agrichemical companies use more of the chemicals that are known to kill bees. That has to change. Now.
So, what can you do? I encourage you to do your part in educating those around you to the dangers of neonics. Ask your local gardening shops if they use them in their plants and if they don't know what you're talking about, assume that they do and don't buy from them. We need to be proactive.
The other thing you can do is offer financial support to organizations like Penn Environment. Visit them on the website (www.pennenvironment.org) or send a check to 1831 Murray Ave. Ste. 219, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. And do me a favor -- tell them Victor Dryer sent you. He's the young man I spoke with yesterday and he's working hard to raise both awareness and money to help save the bees. And, if you wouldn't mind, mention Green Grandma. I don't get anything out of that; I'd just like them to know I'm doing my part, too.
Together, we can save the bees!