• Lack of bees “national emergency”

    12th January 2013 | News | Claire
  • Here is their campaign e-leaflet: ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    There is a alarming situation regarding pollinator species and slow Government action that is pushing bees and others, even soil dwelling species, ever closer to what would certainly be a disastrous tipping point.

    Over the past few years concern has been growing regarding Neonicotinoid (Systemic) Pesticides, their use, often as a pre-coating on seed stock and build ups in the soil. We have been running an
    awareness campaign hoping to highlight the seriousness of a situation that will arise if dramatic falls in pollinator numbers continue over the coming season. With some 60% of Honey Bees lost in the past decade, and since neo-nicotinoids have found widespread use, this same loss is found in the whole population of wild insects and not just honey bees.

    In November of 2012, the Environmental Audit Commitee began an Inquiry into DEFRA’s handling of the situation. But now, according to DEFRA, even if the EAC committee rules that Systemic Pesticides are a threat to colonies (acting as a neurotoxin and causing effect similar to Alzheimer’s Disease) and thus causing a risk to the public via food shortages, and by way of massively increased food prices brought about by there being no pollinators, DEFRA say that they will not stop poisonous seeds, coated with neonicotinoids, from being planted this coming Spring despite that ruling.

    DEFRA’s position is outlined in paragraph 47 of their evidence to the committee, found here; http://links.causes.com/s/clIcBH?r=RMm1

    There is now overwhelming evidence that neonicotinoids, which can migrate to the entire plant as it grows and can be taken in by bees, in nectar and pollen, are killing bees and other pollinators. No Pollinators = No POLLINATION = No food, its as simple as that; Of the top 100 crop species, that provide 90% of the world’s food, more than 70 are pollinated by bees.

    Lord Jones of Cheltenham said in the House of Lords (January 10 2013) that the “population decline of bees and other pollinators needs to be treated as a National Emergency”, yet it is clear that DEFRA would prefer to conduct only long term studies and probably to wait for at least two more seasons before acting.

    Our campaign, with over 100,000 members, is growing increasingly concerned that the ‘precautionary principle’, to protect biodiversity and food supplies (for example via the 1980 Bees Act, UK), is not being enforced near strongly enough to mitigate avoidable and unnecessary losses. Lack of action to protect pollinators will lead to shortage, above and beyond effects of bad weather, which is out of our hands. Incidentally, and of course, pollinators do their essential work for human-kind for free, hand pollination would cost many millions.

    We implore DEFRA to withdraw coated seed from planting this season and to help farmers to source seed that is free of neonicotinoid insecticides for the coming Spring of 2013.

    See here for more information:  http://www.causes.com/causes/430648-bee-the-change/actions/1686797