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 email@example.com).
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 firstname.lastname@example.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/
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
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/
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
PANNA Blog http://www.panna.org/blog/bee-love-coast-coast
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
Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association.