Grassroots actions ahead to keep the hives alive

by Tiffany Finck-Haynes, food futures campaigner

In the coming months, Friends of the Earth and the bees need more people across the country to organize and build pressure for change in the marketplace and in their communities. Grassroots actions will help us push the Environmental Protection Agency to do its job and restrict pollinator-toxic pesticides.

JOIN THE KEEP THE HIVES ALIVE TOUR

Join the tour! From June 13 to 22 we’re collaborating with a number of beekeeping, environmental, food and farming groups to raise awareness about the plight of pollinators and how toxic pesticides contribute to their decline. The eight-city tour will occur right before and during National Pollinator week and end in Washington, D.C. to urge the EPA, the USDA and Congress to take action on toxic pesticides and support sustainable agriculture.

Tour dates and locations

June 1: Sacramento, CA

  • Press conference and lobby day to help California policymakers understand the plight of bees and beekeepers, as well as the opportunities for action, including passing the California Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282). Join us!

June 13: Blue Dasher Farm, Estelline, SD

  • Panel discussion on agriculture as the solution to the pollinator problem. Speakers include Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, owner of Blue Dasher Farm and suspended USDA research entomologist, Brett Adee, President of Pollinator Stewardship Council and owner of 60,000+ hives and other beekeeping and farming leaders in South Dakota. Farm tour of Blue Dasher Farm and dinner to follow. Join us!

June 14: Moonstone Farm, Montevideo, MN

  • Panel discussion with farmers, beekeepers, gardeners and community pollinator protectors on pollinator decline and how to join forces to reverse declines. Farm tour of Moonstone Farm and dinner to follow. Join us!

June 16: Recreation Park, Ypsilanti, MI

  • Educational event/press conference with Washtenaw County Food Policy Council , Ecology Center, Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds and local elected officials, and Bee Safe Neighborhood leaders. Activities include a costume contest, children’s activities, live entertainment, local honey products and ice cream by GO! Ice Cream! Join us!

June 16: D-Town Farm, Detroit, MI

  • Panel discussion with the Ecology Center, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, City of Detroit Planning Department, representatives from Congressman John Conyers’ office, Detroit Beekeepers Association, local farmers and many others for an evening discussion on pollinators, pesticides and ways we can all work together to protect them. Farm tour of D-Town to follow. Join us!

June 18: Lewisburg, PA

  • Panel discussion on pollinators, pesticides and regenerative farming.
  • Speakers include: Dave Hackenberg, past president of Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association, the American Beekeeping Federation, co-chair of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board and owner of 2,400 active bee colonies, Jim Frazier, Professor Emeritus of Entomology and MaryAnne Frazier, Senior Extension Associate of Entomology at Pennsylvania State University, Jeff Pettis, USDA researcher and Luke Criswell, Pennsylvania farmer. Tour of Hackenberg Apiaries to follow. Join us!

June 20: Triangle Park, NC

  • Press conference and rally in front of Bayer Crop Science’s North American Headquarters with Toxic Free NC, Environment NC, Appalachian Voices, beekeepers, farmers, and other activists. Join us!

June 22 & 23: Washington, D.C.

  • EPA rally to urge action on toxic pesticides
  • Congressional briefing on pollinators and toxic pesticides part of the Endangered Species Act briefing series hosted by Rep. Grijalva and Senator Merkeley
  • Lobby meetings on Capitol Hill, EPA and USDA for beekeepers, pollinator experts, farmers, scientists, etc. Join us!

Not at those locations?

Here are ways folks can take action from anywhere:

  • Sign the petition to the EPA. We’ll be delivering all of the signatures June 22 at the rally in front of the EPA.
  • Help generate buzz in the media: Write an op-ed, article or blog explaining the impact of toxic pesticides on pollinators and why the EPA needs to take action.
  • Share the events and help promote on social media to generate buzz around the issue.
  • Invite your friends and family to participate!
  • Donate to the tour!

We hope each event can serve as a local organizing opportunity for folks to highlight local or state campaign victories as well as advance current policies and campaigns currently happening.

Learn more and take action at: keephivesalive.org