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Keep the Hives Alive! National Tour Demands Pollinator Protection

June 6th, 2016
By Madeleine Carnemark, Pollinator Program Associate
Center for Food Safety

Ten years have passed since the term “colony collapse disorder” was first coined for the“mysterious” disappearance of honey bee hives reported by beekeepers all across the country. Ten years of government regulators failing to address severe pollinator declines in the United States, despite major strides in European countries and a U.S. agricultural economy dependent on pollination for one third of the crops it produces. Ten years of agro-chemical companies pouring millions of dollars into PR campaigns to direct the blame of pollinator declines away from pesticides, despite strong independent scientific research implicating these toxic chemicals as a leading culprit in bee deaths. Ten years of beekeepers’ pleas for stronger pollinator protections going largely ignored. And 10 years of the environment and our food supply put at risk by the loss of critical pollinator species.

Bees can’t wait any longer. Beekeepers can’t wait any longer. Our food supply can’t wait any longer. Beekeepers are still reporting annual losses nearing 50% of their hives, with some beekeepers reporting as high as 100% losses. The time for action is now, and that action needs to be taken to curb the use of the toxic pesticides responsible for these devastating declines. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Agriculture, and Congress need to be held accountable for properly regulating the use of bee-toxic pesticides and preventing further pollinator losses. 

That is why, after months of planning, THIS WEEK, beekeepers, farmers, consumers, and environmentalists around the country are standing up and demanding action that is 10 years overdue – and are taking to the road on behalf of bees. The Keep the Hives Alive Tour is a joint effort of members of the beekeeping community, along with NGO allies, and individuals concerned by the continued decline of pollinator species including farmers, councilmembers and others. The tour is raising awareness of the plight of pollinators, the role bee-toxic pesticides—such as the ones companies like Bayer produces—play in their decline, and celebrating initiatives to protect these critical species by supporting sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices.

Keep the Hives Alive kicked off at the state legislature in Sacramento, California and it will continue through National Pollinator week (June 20-26), with stops in South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania before ending up in front of the Bayer Bee Care Center outside Raleigh, North Carolina. Here there will be a bee truck carrying thousands of dead bees and the stories of beekeepers and consumers all across the country who are fed up with corporations protecting their profits over protecting pollinators. The bee truck will not stop there. After leaving Raleigh, the tour will finish in Washington, DC for a demonstration outside of the EPA, where we will echo the demands of concerned consumers, farmers, and beekeepers for all the government agencies to hear; demanding that EPA, USDA, and Congress take action on toxic pesticides and support a more sustainable food future.

For years, Center for Food Safety has been on the frontlines of the battle for the protection of pollinators, our farms, and our environment. We are thrilled to be a part of this movement and believe that the time is now to get pollinators the protection they deserve!  We hope you will join us this week in celebration of pollinators, beekeepers, and farmers working hard every day for a brighter future for bees and for the safety of our food supply!

Are we coming to a town near you? Join Us!


Keep The Hives Alive Tour Stops:

June 13th—Brookings, South Dakota:

June 14th—Montevideo, Minnesota:

June 16th—Ypsilanti, Michigan:

June 16th—Detroit, Michigan:

June 18th–Lewisburg, Pennsylvania:

June 20th—Research Triangle Park, NC:

June 22nd—Washington, DC:


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