2015 update: Home Depot and Lowe's have both promised to phase out the sale of bee-killing pesticides, after members of SumOfUs and Friends of the Earth took action, visited stores, and made their voices heard.
Bees are dying off around the world in record numbers -- but big retailers are still selling the poison that is killing them.
Last season, 37 million bees (!) died on a single North American farm. Scientists now know why – study after study shows that deadly pesticides called "neonics", manufactured by Bayer, are killing them.
Home Depot and Lowe's are still selling the deadly pesticides, but pressure is mounting. If one of the stores commits to stop carrying the pesticides, it could start a snowball effect that sees rival stores drop the bee-killing chemicals too.
In just two weeks, SumOfUs' activist beekeepers will travel to deliver our petition to the corporations on their home turf. Can you add your name now, so the retailers see the tide of public opinion and commit to stop selling bee-killing pesticides?
Tell Home Depot and Lowe's to stop selling bee-killing pesticides.
Earlier this year, SumOfUs supporters called on these retail giants to stop selling neonics, with thousands flooding their phone lines and speaking out in store. Now, we've learnt that Home Depot could be on the cusp of doing the right thing and taking the bee-killing chemicals off its shelves. We need to send a message to tip Home Depot over the edge, and pressure its rival Lowe's to act as well.
The dangerous chemical Bayer makes is a neonicotinoid, or neonic. Neonics are soaked into seeds, spreading through the plant and killing insects stopping by for a snack -- and sold in garden stores around the world, too. These pesticides can easily be replaced by other chemicals which don't have such a devastating effect on the food chain. But companies like Bayer and Syngenta make a fortune from selling neonics -- so they'll do everything they can to protect their profits.
History shows that consumer pressure on retailers works. Europe's partial ban on neonics was caused by a huge movement that pushed some of the biggest retailers in the EU to voluntarily remove neonics from their shelves. If we can make sure that Home Depot and Lowe's drop neonics, smaller North American retailers are bound to follow. But there is not a moment to lose. Please take action now to keep the pressure on Home Depot and Lowe's so we can protect our bees and our planet's future
Call on Home Depot and Lowe's to get rid of the bee-killing neonics.
SumOfUs has been right at the front of the global campaign to save our bees. We came together to fight Bayer at a huge independent garden store show in Chicago, where the German chemical maker was out in force. We're taking legal action in Europe to defend the EU's ban against Bayer, and just last week spoke out at Bayer's annual shareholder meeting in Germany. But to win this fight, we need to push the retailers to drop these bee-killing pesticides now.
Mother Jones: 3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide, 29 March, 2013
Photo credit: Benny Kennedy