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Organic Consumers Association

National Bee Action Week Draws Attention to the Plight of the Pollinators

  • By Katherine Paul
    February 20, 2014

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Honey Bee Health page, and our All About Organics page.

Like a bee to the clover . . . last week’s “Show Bees Some Love” actions in seven metropolitan areas attracted local and national media, drawing much-needed attention to the critical role pesticides play in decimating the world’s honeybee population.

Activists wearing bee costumes, singing “Give Bees a Chance” and carrying “Show Bees Some Love” banners swarmed Home Depot and Lowe’s stores in Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Chicago, Eugene, Ore. and Los Angeles. They delivered valentines and cupcakes. Some even staged die-ins.

But people all over the country, in cities large and small, also did their part. More than 30,000 individuals, including about 13,000 members of Organic Consumers Association, signed up to deliver Valentine Day cards to managers at their local Home Depot and Lowe’s stores. The cards were delivered along with this message: Please stop selling bee-killing pesticides, and garden plants sprayed with bee-killing pesticides. (If you delivered a valentine in your city, we’d love to hear from you. Send your comments, photos and videos to office@organicconsumers.org).

Home Depot responded to the campaign, telling a CNBC reporter that the retail chain has been “working on” an alternative to neonicotinoids (the class of pesticides scientists now believe play a key role in Colony Collapse Disorder) for “some time,” and that several of its suppliers are already using replacements. We plan to hold their feet to the fire until they follow through.

Meanwhile, Lowe’s is still giving us the silent treatment.

We, along with our allies Friends of the Earth, SumOfUs.org, Pesticide Action Network and other groups, plan to keep the pressure on Home Depot and Lowe’s. Through petitions, letters, talks with the companies’ CEOs. Whatever it takes.

In the meantime, there’s a bill (H.R. 2692), Saving America’s Pollinators Act, in Congress that calls for restricting neonicotinoids. But it needs more support. And Oregon and California have introduced similar bills at the state level.
And what about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? It’s been busy approving more bee-killing pesticides. All the more reason for consumers to pressure retailers, and for Congress to act.

What You Can Do

TAKE ACTION: Tell Your Representative: Please Support theSaving America’s Pollinators Act (H.R. 2692)

TAKE ACTION: Tell Home Depot and Lowe’s toStop Selling Bee-Killing Plants

Send comments, photos & videos of your valentine delivery office@organicconsumers.org


More Coverage from the Bee Week of Action

Why it Matters: For Whom the Bee Tolls
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29307.cfm

Press release http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29282.cfm

Home Depot’s statement on neonicotinoids http://www.ecooptions.homedepot.com/


Awesome videos!
 

Chicago Bee Love Action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W5PQbitoS4

DC Bee Love Action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5TOQRTRCow

Bay Area Action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHHNAmOjUh4


Photos from national actions & local actions

Here http://www.pinterest.com/foeus/show-bees-some-love/

More here https://www.flickr.com/photos/foeaction/12637391765/

Eugene photos on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.512538198861315.1073741834.106942182754254&type=3

Bay Area Flickr stream http://www.flickr.com/photos/117359924@N07/


News Stories:

Bee activists swarm Home Depot and Lowe's http://www.cnbc.com/id/101415329

Home Depot, Lowe's Swarmed by Bee Activists http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/home-depot-lowes-swarmed-bee-activists-n30531

Bee activists swarm on Home Depot and Lowe's http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bee-activists-swarm-home-depot-154343564.html

Major Retailers To Be Asked To Stop Selling Pesticides, Garden Plants. http://ijpr.org/post/major-retailers-be-asked-stop-selling-pesticides-garden-plants

Minneapolis Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/245298641.html

NBC Eugene: http://www.kmtr.com/news/local/Activists-meet-with-local-Home-Depot-manager-on-bee-lethal-chemicals-245693711.html

CBS Minnesota: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/02/12/bee-activists-hand-out-cookies-in-pesticide-protest/

ABC 5 Minneapolis: http://kstp.com/article/stories/S3323019.shtml?cat=12196

NBC Penn: http://www.pahomepage.com/story/d/story/bee-campaign-sends-valentine-darts-to-home-depot-a/25328/mq5VgK0ImkCR1R4YeHPZEw

Real News.com (interview with U Maryland prof) http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=11484

Live Leak (great clip of DC activists delivering Valentines) http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=871_1392246761
 

More Buzz

PANNA Blog http://www.panna.org/blog/bee-love-coast-coast

EcoWatch http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/12/bee-week-demand-stores-stop-selling-pesticides/

Boston Beekeepers Club http://www.meetup.com/Boston-Beekeepers-Club/events/164268802/

Prison Planet.com http://www.prisonplanet.com/thousands-of-activists-demand-lowes-and-home-depot-stop-selling-bee-killing-chemicals.html

Common Dreams: Show Bees Some Love http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/02/14-7

Root Simple http://www.rootsimple.com/2014/01/ask-lowes-and-home-depot-to-stop-killing-bees/

Via Organica http://viaorganica.zenfolio.com/bee-leafleting#h2332a5dc

Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/article/swarm-home-depot-lowe-s-with-a-valentine-stop-killing-bees
 


Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association.

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