The sudden bee die-off known as colony collapse has claimed about 30% of the U.S. honey bee population each year since 2006.
Scientists believe the pesticide clothianidin is at least partially to blame, but twice in the last year, the EPA has refused to intervene to review the pesticide's safety.
If we don't convince the EPA to reconsider, it will not review clothianidin again until 2018. By then it could be too late for the bees, and the one third of our food crops that bees play a crucial role in pollinating.
The EPA is currently accepting public comments on its latest decision not to declare bee die-offs an emergency situation and suspend the use of clothianidin. Now is a crucial moment to make our voices heard for the bees.
The science of colony collapse is complex, but increasingly scientists are pointing to the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids — which includes clothianidin — as a major causal factor.1
The pesticide, which is used to treat seeds like corn and canola, expresses itself through the plants' pollen and nectar — the honey bees favorite sources of food. Neonicotinoid pesticides are relatively new, and their use coincides with the rise of colony collapse.
Astonishingly, clothianidin was approved by the EPA based on virtually no scientific study.2 Yet the EPA continues to allow its use.
Now, a group of senators have joined the call, writing a letter urging the EPA that waiting until 2018 to again review clothianidin and other neonicotinoids will be too late.3