Beekeepers and concerned citizens from across the UK have formed a united front in the 'War Against Nature' to protect bees against a devastating new group of pesticides.
On Friday morning (April 26, 2013) at 11 am they will descend upon Parliament Square, Westminster, London to show their solidarity and voice their concerns.
To grab the weekend headlines and pile the pressure on the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, ahead of a vital European Union (EU) vote banning neonicotinoid pesticides on Monday 29th April. Even the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has concluded certain neonicotinoids are harmful to bees and The March of the Beekeepers will show Mr Paterson the full weight of public, expert and Government opinion and persuade him to now support a European ban.
In January and February most UK garden stores banned the sale of neonicotonoids. In America, according to the Xerces Society's report some commercial neonicotinoid products available at garden centers are 120 times higher than those applied on agricultural fields.
The EU had proposed that its member states stop using neonicotinoids including sprays and prohibiting sales of seeds treated with these chemicals. The three insecticides in particular identified are clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiametoxam. An EU vote in Brussels on March 14 resulted in a stalemate, and this time protesters are counting on Britain to help ban neonicotinoid pesticides.
The UK is experiencing a 50 percent drop in bee populations over the past 25 years. Bees are crucial for pollinating the lions' share of over 205,000 flowering plants around the globe. The health and well being of wild bees and honeybees are of vital importance to the food we eat including honey; the clothes we wear because cotton is bee pollinated; the beeswax we use in many products; and the potent pain medicines in Apis therapy that honeybees provide us.
Avaaz, Buglife, Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network UK, RSPB, Soil Association, The Natural Beekeeping Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and 38 Degrees will all be in attendance.
Beekeepers with smokers (not lit), flanked by supporting celebrities, people wearing beehive hair, carrying flowers, apples, pears and other pollinated vegetables, honey and jam, a giant Winnie the Pooh.
The EJ Foundation says "It's a serious issue but it doesn't mean you can't have fun showing you care. Put your hair in a beehive perhaps or get dressed up in bee stripes."
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster, conservation biologist and author of The Incomparable Honeybee.