Bees are dying in the U.S. and around the world, and it’s a major problem.

Millions of bees are dying off, with alarming consequences for our food supply. We rely on bees to pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that provide 90 percent of the world’s food. Imagine no almonds, less coffee, no chocolate, fewer apples and strawberries, less alfalfa to feed dairy cows, and the list goes on.

Scientists point to pesticides as one of the factors causing the die-off, in particular a class of bee-killing insecticides known as neonicotinoids (or neonics). In the U.S. alone, more than 46 million pounds of these chemicals are used in our homes, gardens, and parks every year.

  • <h4>Neonics Are Deadly To Bees</h4><p>Neonics are at least 5,000 to 10,000 times more toxic to bees than DDT.</p>
  • <h4>Neonics Get Into Pollen</h4><p>Neonics are sprayed on seeds. That means they don't just end up on the surface of the plant, they are transported to all the tissues of the plant, including the pollen and nectar—which, of course, is bad news for bees and other pollinators.</p>
  • <h4>Neonics Spread</h4><p>After a nearby farm planted corn seeds coated with neonics in 2013, a farmer named Dave Schuit lost 37 million of his bees. “Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” said Schuit.</p>
  • <h4>Avoid Neonics</h4><p>Pesticides and plants containing neonics are often available in your local home store, or garden center.</p>
There Are Alternatives

Given the consequences for our farms and our food, you’d think we’d be doing all we can to protect bees and other pollinators from neonics. Scientists say that we don't need to spray these chemicals all over our homes because we have commonsense alternatives—such as staggering the time of planting and watering, and planting more native species.

But instead of exploring alternatives, giant corporations like Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Bayer and Syngenta are downplaying the risk of these chemicals. Syngenta even asked federal regulators for permission to use even larger quantities of these pesticides—as much as 400 times more than currently allowed.

Alarmed by the role these chemicals are playing in bee colony collapse disorder, some governments and retailers are stepping up to address the problem. The European Union has banned them; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has committed to phasing them out on the public lands they manage; the Home Depot and Lowe's are phasing them out; and Seattle, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey and Oregon have all agreed to take some form of action against neonics.

But even with so much evidence showing that this stuff needs to be banned, stores continue to sell these chemicals, which are then used in our gardens, parks and schools.

Imagine no almonds, less coffee and chocolate, fewer apples and strawberries, less ice cream and milk … the list goes on. Simply put, no bees means no food.
We Can Help Save The Bees

To restore bee populations to health and save our food supply, we are working to ban the sale of bee-killing pesticides for our homes, parks and gardens in 21 states around the country. And we’re working with local governments to ensure that these bee-killing pesticides are not used on any public property. 

If enough states take action, we will eliminate the use of more than 40 percent of insecticides used in this country. That’s a lot of bees that we can save—bees that will pollinate our food. And collective action on that scale will send a strong signal to large chemical companies that we want them to stop poisoning our parks, homes and food with these products. 

It’s absurd that we would continue to spray chemicals that are known to kill bees just as we’re in the midst of an unsustainable die-off in bee populations. That has to change. Now.

Tell Your Governor: Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

Join us in calling on your state's governor to protect bees and our food, and send a message that it’s time to take action for our health, and the health of the planet.