Environment North Carolina Delivers Bee Conservation Petition to Gov. Cooper

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Grassroots organizers recently delivered a petition with over 12,000 signatures to the office of Gov. Roy Cooper, calling for a ban on the consumer sale and use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Neonicotinoids are a widely used group of insecticides that are particularly toxic to bees and other pollinators.

This summer Environment North Carolina canvassers, mostly young college students, have been traveling door to door, visiting neighborhoods throughout North Carolina to have conversations with people about the important role of bees in our food system and discuss the threats that bee colonies are up against. As a result of their efforts, these young adults have harnessed the collective voice of North Carolinians and collected 12,000 signatures to ban one of the most deadly pesticides for bees — neonics.

These organizers recently gathered at the state capitol grounds and delivered the petition to the office of Governor Roy Cooper. State Director for Environment North Carolina Drew Ball, campaign lead Libba Rollins, and Lior Vered of Toxic Free NC spoke before the petition drop to bring attention to this critical issue.

“No bees means no food, and the first step in saving the bees is getting rid of the pesticides that kill them,” said Drew Ball. “As an agricultural state, North Carolina should be a leader by banning the sale of neonics to consumers and banning the needless practice of coating seeds.”

Bees are dying off at alarming rates across the U.S., with beekeepers reporting losing an average of 30% of all honeybee colonies each winter — roughly twice the loss considered sustainable. This is particularly alarming, given that crops provide 90 percent of the world’s food, and we rely on bees to pollinate 71 of them.

North Carolina is already experiencing the effects of collapsing bee colonies; the state has approximately 260,000 honeybees, but an estimated 500,000 are needed to help pollinate the crops grown. No bees, no food.