The EU has stepped up to protect bees. EPA, let's do this!!

Great news for bees! In a historic vote, the European Union (EU) passed a continent-wide restriction on the use of bee-harming pesticides. Despite immense pressure from the pesticide industry, a majority of EU countries sided with bees. 

Here in the U.S., policymakers have yet to step up. And with beekeepers in this country reporting record-breaking bee losses this year — up to 40% or more — action to protect honey bees is more urgent than ever. 

Bees have been dying off in droves in the U.S. since 2006. And a growing body of scientific evidence points to neonicotinoid pesticides as a key contributing factor — along with pathogens and habitat loss.

Tell EPA it's time to follow the science and protect bees!

Jim Jones, Acting Assistant Administrator
Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Washington, DC 20460-0001

Dear Mr. Jones,

I am writing to urge your office to take action and protect declining bee populations from harmful neonicotinoid pesticides. EPA's current review of neonics like clothianidin isn't due to conclude until 2018. Meanwhile, bee-harming pesticides continue to be widely used.

While pathogens and habitat loss are also at play, a growing body of scientific evidence points to neonicotinoids — both alone and in combination with other pesticides and pathogens — as a clear contributing factor to recent pollinator declines. Bees need action before 2018.

U.S. beekeepers are reporting record-breaking losses this year, with some losing 40% or more of their hives. And earlier this year, you witnessed these on-the-ground harms first-hand when touring almond pollination sites. Beekeepers, and the agricultural industries relying on their bees, are in trouble.

As you know, insect pollinators contribute $29 billion to the U.S. agricultural economy, with honey bees contributing a little over $19 billion of that. Continuing to lose a third or more of our honey bees each year is a significant cost that our economy, and beekeepers, cannot bear.

Today, we ask that you find the courage and foresight to take action to protect bees — before it is truly too late.

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