200,000 signatures reached
To: Home Depot and Lowe's
Home Depot and Lowe's: You must stop selling bee-killing pesticides!
I urge Home Depot and Lowe's to immediately remove neonicotinoid pesticides from your shelves and stop selling them at all of your stores. I also urgently request that you cease purchasing plants from nurseries that use neonicotinoid pesticides in the potting soil.
Why is this important?
Bees are essential to our food system and they've been dying off recently at alarming rates. Last winter, over a third of all honey bee colonies in the United States died. Domestic honey production for 2013 is projected to be the lowest ever recorded.
As a beekeeper, I know the important role bees play in pollinating much of the food we all consume and enjoy. Keeping bees in an urban area, I and fellow beekeepers have experienced dramatic bee die-offs in the past two years. These deaths are increasingly being linked to a class of neurotoxic pesticides called “neonicotinoids.” At the same time we have seen a large increase in the sales of neonicotonoids to home gardeners.
That's why I'm calling on Home Depot and Lowe's -- two of the largest retailers of neonicotinoid pesticides nationwide -- to take responsibility for the harm caused by the products they market to customers and immediately stop selling neonicotinoid pesticides.
I’m very concerned! Bee die offs are occurring, even here in my state. Did you know that last summer well over 60 thousand bees died when neonicotinoid pesticides were sprayed on linden trees in 2 incidents in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon?
With the widespread and growing use of neonicotinoids in agriculture, for commercial purposes and in home gardens, bees are exposed to residues on plants or in nectar or pollen. A growing body of research shows that there are devastating consequences for bees from the use of these pesticides, the most dangerous of which is an increased susceptibility to deadly parasites and viruses.
The sad fact is that I cannot sustain my beekeeping business at the current loss rate. Many beekeeping businesses have collapsed across the nation, with many more on the verge.
The United States EPA is taking its time in dealing with the issue. With bee die-offs increasing, we can't afford to wait.
With strong grassroots pressure we can put a spotlight on these companies' role in killing bees and persuade them to take neonicotinoid pesticides off the shelves of their stores nationwide.
Please join me in signing this petition to demand that Home Depot and Lowe's stop selling all neonicotinoid pesticides and pre-treated potted plants that are harming our bees and pledge to not buy those products responsible for this damage.
Thank you for your consideration in taking action.
Philip Smith, Oregon Sustainable Beekeepers
NOTE: Photo by Catia Juliana ("Borage for Courage")