Food is our medicine. Foods not only provide nourishment for our body, they also nourish us emotionally and spiritually. Whether it be root foraging, harvesting wild fruits and nuts, procuring plant fibers for basket weaving, fishing, hunting, or gardening, these practices bond our spirit with the earth and make us feel whole. These practices also keep us connected as families by continuing traditions imperative for our health, livelihoods, and cultural survival.
By becoming a Bee City, The City of Eugene has formally acknowledged the importance of pollinators to healthy ecosystems and joined the national movement to protect and support our pollinators now and in the future. Bee Cities support collaboration to establish and maintain healthy pollinator habitats within city limits.
Important action is being taken across our state to protect honey bees. However, the public is less aware of the critical role Oregon’s native bees play in pollination and maintaining the healthy environment we all enjoy – nor of the threats they face. Did you know eight different species of native bees are currently listed on the United States Endangered Species List?
Getting down for bees with jazz music, wine and food has everything to do with being a bee protector! We are celebrating bees with a fantastically fun event, but we aren’t joking about the real peril for pollinators. Bees are not safe in Oregon, or anywhere else in America. Eight species of native bees have very recently been put on the US Endangered Species List and are at the mercy of the Trump Administration.
This week national environmental leaders in bee protection, including Beyond Toxics, signed on to letters sent to Ace and True Value Hardware stores asking them to act now to protect bees! Our petition is for Ace and True Value to commit to not sell products containing systemic neonicotinoid pesticides harmful to bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
Beyond Toxics’ idea to ask local governments to ban neonicotinoids started in Eugene with our proposal to the City Council. You remember...Eugene became “America’s Most Bee Friendly City!” in the early part of last year. Then the idea spread to Seattle, Spokane and Sacramento, as well as towns in Alaska, Minnesota and other states.
And today, the big news is that the Portland, Oregon has made good on their promise to Protect Portland’s Pollinators!
Here it is summer time, when the flowers and trees are in bloom and jamborees of pollinators are busily buzzing in the flowers. It is also National Pollinator Week, a time to celebrate what bees, butterflies and other blossom-visiting species contribute to a healthy environment.
But we in Eugene, Oregon are mourning the loss of thousands of bees today.
It started eighteen months ago, when a group of passionate and dedicated bee keepers came to the Beyond Toxics office to talk with us about the bees. They were well informed and brought published studies revealing the role pesticides play in the demise of honey bee colonies.