Feb. 28, 2014 At the request of Beyond Toxics, Eugene’s City Council Wednesday night (2/26/14) voted to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on city property. The Council Resolution, “Enhancing Current Integrated Pest Management in Parks,” also expands the current Pesticide-Free Parks program and requires all city departments to adopt the same IPM standards and protocols as the City’s Parks and Open Space Division.
The Eugene City Council resolution, the only one of its kind in the nation, passed by unanimous consent in a council work session. The language of the resolution specifically includes a strong concern for children’s health as well as protecting bees and a host of other pollinators in Eugene’s environment.
Hear the KPNW radio report from Stu Allen interviewing City Counselor Claire Syrett (mp3 file requires audio player plug-in; audio courtesy of KPNW Radio Eugene)
Thursday, March 6: Beyond Toxics is pleased to announce that today Governor Kitzhaber has signed into law the Save Oregon’s Pollinators Act (HB4139-A).
This is the nation’s first statewide legislation passed with the intent to better protect pollinators from the highly toxic class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. The compromise bill passed both the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The bill requires all pesticide applicators to receive training on ways to protect pollinators from pesticide exposure. The pollinator protection information will also be included in applicator licensing exams. The bill also establishes a task force required to study additional bee-protection measures and to work towards offering the 2015 legislature a proposal to protect Oregon’s vitally important pollinators. More details about the bill.
Final version of the Save Oregon’s Pollinators Act (HB4139-A-Engrossed)
BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO CAME AND MADE THE EUGENE BEE SWARM SO VERY FUN!
What Home Depot has said in response (from a KMTR inquiry):
This is an issue that is important to us. Our environmental team is deeply engaged in understanding the relationship of the use of certain insecticides on our plants and the decline in the honey-bee population. They’ve been in communication with the EPA, insecticide industry and our suppliers for many months to understand the science and monitor the research.
That being said, we’re more than happy to provide customers with alternative products for their insecticide needs and are actively working with our nursery suppliers to find alternative insecticides for protecting live goods and the bees.
If you are concerned about the threat to bees in your garden, here is a list of consumer products to avoid that contain neonicotinoids.
Read the press release (PDF)
Summary - Save Oregon’s Pollinator’s Act…
The bill will be amended to direct Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture to increase education for licensed pesticide applicators about pollinator protection.
The amended bill also creates a task force charged with bringing to the 2015 session new legislation to address the threat that pesticides pose to pollinator health. Emphasis is on four particularly harmful pesticides in the neonicotinoid class: clothianidin, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.
- Our new page on Cultivating Bee-Friendly Gardens
- Read the NEW 1-page fact sheet on the threat to bees and their importance to Oregon
- NEWS from Europe on the decline of bees this Winter and what it means for European agriculture in Spring…Honeybee shortage threatens crop pollination in Europe By Matt McGrath, Environment correspondent, BBC News (Jan. 8, 2014)
Consumers across the country are still unwittingly buying pesticides for their home and garden that are especially deadly for bees. Please sign our NEW petition to Home Depot and Lowe’s demanding that they STOP selling bee-killing pesticides. (Co-sponsored by Philip Smith of Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers and Beyond Toxics)
Beyond Toxics worked with Representative Reardon (D-Happy Valley) to create hearings at the State Capitol on November 21 on the issue of bees, pollinator protections and neonics: “Bee Health and Pesticide Use.” Read Lisa Arkin’s blog reporting on that hearing. See photos on our Facebook page. Hear Lisa Arkin’s interview on Jefferson Public Radio (mp3 file on web page).
- Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers have worked hard to get Jerry’s and Bi-Mart to do something about neonics. These two businesses have agreed to put out fact sheets and better labeling (a Not Bee Friendly sticker). – Read the brochure from Jerry’s (PDF)
NEWS: The buzz about pesticides and bee safety: ‘We take these incidents seriously‘ report by Kelsey Dudley, KVAL/KMTR (Eugene)
- Our “Imaging A World Beyond Toxics” photo contest was phenomenally successful (over 70 entries). The top 15 photographs were displayed (“Beauty of the Bee” Photography Exhibit) for most of November at at Townshend’s Tea House and again on November 21st at the State Capitol in Salem. | See the winners of our photo contest…
- OSU has opened up a website dedicated to this issue and in the webpage you can click on their new publication – it is pretty good for an Ag College! ”How to Reduce Bee Poisoning from Pesticides” includes the latest research and regulations. Free online.
- The issue of bees and preventing harm from neonics was discussed at the October 23rd City Council Work Session by Councilor Mike Clark. There will be a Council Work Session on Pesticide-Free Parks and a policy to ban the use of neonics on City Property coming soon sponsored by Councilor Syrett.
“Bees are as important to Oregon’s agricultural sector as water and the sun.”
- Alan Turanski, VP, GloryBee Foods
R-G article: To bee or not to bee – Colony collapse threatens honeybees and plants they pollinate (featured video below…)
- Lisa Arkin interviewed on Jefferson Exchange Radio: Campaigning For A Ban On Neonicotinoids (aired November 20, 2013; mp3 audio opens and plays within a new web page)
- Hear Lisa Arkin interviewed on Jefferson Public Radio about the plight of honey bees and National Honey Bee Day (aired Aug. 15, 2013; mp3 audio opens and plays within a new web page)
STUDY: TREATED PLANTS SOLD TO CONSUMERS KILL BEES
KPTV (Portland) News story includes interview with Don Francis, Beyond Toxics member and business owner, EcoTech, LLC
“Bee-friendly” Plants? Think Again - BLOG by Paul Towers, Media & Organizing Director, Pesticide Action Network
Read our one-page fact sheet, “A threat to bees is a threat to our food!” showing the potential impact of bee decline on our food supply and Oregon’s agriculture.
Sign our petition to Katy Coba, Director of Oregon Dept. of Agriculture: Katy, ban neonicotinoids in Oregon!
MORE about the Save America’s Pollinator’s Act:
- 1-page Fact Sheet from Rep. Earl Blumenauer
- The Save America’s Pollinators Act of 2013 (legislation language)
Press Release for National Honey Bee Day events in Oregon: Aug. 17th – three stores participated in Oregon
Sometimes…positive change can come from news stories!
In the wake of massive bee die-offs in two Oregon cities, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has declared a 180 day moratorium on 18 pesticides to avoid the potential of similar large bee kills this summer due to pesticide applications. ODA’s Pesticide Program has established a website with more information on the dinotefuran restriction, including a list of specific products affected as well as instructions for those who may have purchased these products.
Oregon Department of Ag confirms that pesticide, Safari, was the culprit!
Bee deaths a result of pesticide Safari; count upped to 50,000 dead insects
Video edited from raw footage shot on June 21st by Scott Oakland, Portland Sustainable Living Examiner
City workers race to save bees in Wilsonville, Oregon bee kill catastrophe (Photos)
By: Scott Oakland, Portland Sustainable Living Examiner | June 20, 2013
Please join our Friends of Healthy Bees Campaign. This is a grassroots, no-spray, neighborhoods project. Please show your support by signing the “Honey Bee Friend” pledge…(see who has already pledged!)
We are dedicated to protecting public health and the environment from toxic pesticides. We do so by educating the public, working with local beekeepers, and advocating for change in policies and laws to protect bees.
As one aspect of Beyond Toxics’ comprehensive work, we’re coordinating with Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens* to develop pesticide-free, honey-bee-safe neighborhoods. Our joint goal is to develop large numbers of Eugene-area gardens that are pesticide-free and to encourage the Host-A Hive Program, a project coordinated by Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens. Please Contact Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens (via email) directly to learn about the Host-A-Hive program.
Beyond Toxics works to make our homes and parks safe for all living things. We would like to help local and state governments pass bee-friendly chemical reduction policies. Your action and the actions of your neighbors today will set the standard for our government tomorrow. | GET INVOLVED!
- NEW: City of Eugene discusses the use of pesticides in city parks
- Consumer Pesticide Products with Neonics Sold in The U.S. (avoid using these products in your garden to save honey bees)
- “Neonicotinoid” defined
- Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens, grassroots organizers of the Host-A-Hive program (stickers and signs available for sale)
- Hear Lisa Arkin interviewed on Jefferson Public Radio about the plight of honey bees and National Honey Bee Day – Aug. 15, 2012 (mp3 audio opens and plays within a new web page)
What’s happening to bees? – The Problem
In recent years, bees have been dying off in droves. First in France in the mid-1990s, then in the U.S. and elsewhere, colonies have been mysteriously collapsing with adult bees disappearing, seemingly abandoning their hives. In 2006, about two years after this phenomenon hit the U.S., it was named “Colony Collapse Disorder,” or CCD. Each year since, commercial beekeepers have reported annual losses of 29% – 36%. Such losses are unprecedented, and more than double what is considered normal. Two points of consensus have emerged in all the discussion about the mystery of CCD:
Multiple, interacting causes are in play – key suspects include pathogens, habitat loss and pesticides; and immune system damage is a critical factor that may be at the root of the disorder.
- See our Resources page
- See our action page, including our Friends of Healthy Bees Pledge
- More background information from Beyond Pesticides
*Thanks to the wonderful help of Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens, we are educating the community about how we can live together in a healthy and safe environment free of harmful chemicals. Please join us in supporting a growing effort to encourage homeowners, neighborhood associations and government leaders to take a stand to protect bees by becoming spray-free! Contact Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens to find out how you can become involved in the Host-A-Hive program.
Now you can designate your donation to our educational work when you join! After you click on the green button, below, simply choose “Friends of Healthy Bees.” from the “I want my donation to be designated toward” drop-down option. 10% of all donations to Friends of Healthy Bees goes to the Healthy Bees = Healthy Gardens program to support the Neighborhood Host-a-Hive project.
Beyond Toxics is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. Please consider giving a gift of a Beyond Toxics membership to a friend or family member!