After the environmental disaster in Croatia, which led to the death of over 50 million bees, a quick change is increasingly urgent. Here are two petitions to sign to ask governments to safeguard pollinators.

Greenpeace and the campaign to protect bees

Protecting the health of bees is one of the primary objectives of all contemporary environmental associations. Greenpeace, for example, has recently launched a campaign asking the Italian government and the European Commission to take effective and timely measures to defend insects fundamental for the balance of ecosystems and agri-food production. A decline already underway since the 1990s, which seems unstoppable: chemical pesticides, disease, pests and climate change are among the main causes of this loss, despite the first precautions implemented by the European Union.

Defend bees by eliminating pesticides

In 2018, in fact, three pesticides of the neonicotinoid category – the most dangerous for bees – were banned to protect animals and environment: Bayer produces imidacloprid and clothianidin, and Syngenta is responsible for thiamethoxam, but in agriculture it’s still possible to use other pesticides and harmful substances. Among the three key points presented by Greenpeace to the European Commission is precisely the elimination of all pesticides that are a threat to pollinating insects, the main cause of the death of bees. But there’s more: it’s also necessary to study and apply new, increasingly rigid standards, to assess the risks of pesticides, and thus avoid putting hazardous substances into circulation, as well as increase funding for research, development and application of eco-friendly practices and sustainable agriculture.

The problem of bee death and the Croatia incident

One of the hot topics of the moment is the disappearance of bees, a problem brought to light several times by the press and farmers themselves, and around which a series of valid projects and initiatives were born to protect bees (among the latest are Bee my Future, urban beekeeping project in Milan, 3Bee, which allows to adopt a remote beehive, and B-Box, the balcony hive for making honey in the city). An unresolved issue, as much debated as still little known, and on which it’s always good to apply clarity is the following. Just over a month ago, over 50 million bees died in Croatia, in the northern county of Međimurje, on the border with Hungary, for suspected pesticide poisoning, linked to the phytosanitary treatments of potato and rapeseed crops. Currently, the Međimurje Public Health Institute is carrying out tests on the honey, while the pharmacology and toxicology institute of the veterinary department of the University of Zagreb is trying to trace the causes of the tragedy, in addition to conducting an analysis of its impact on human health..

Save bees and farmers: the European petition for bees

In the meantime, the campaign of European citizens Save bees and farmers continues with the support of the Commission and the European Parliament, which have decided to extend the collection of signatures until March 31, 2021, to ensure a greater number of people involved. The goal is to reach 1 million signatures, so that Parliament will have to respond to the citizens’ requests and implement greater precautionary measures in defense of biodiversity and ecosystems. An initiative born in favour of bees and the environment that are “on the brink of collapse”, as stated in the press release, and which aims to promote even small businesses that are fighting for survival, those that prefer organic farming without use of pesticides or chemicals, and which represent a real wealth for rural areas and their cultural heritage.

What citizens are asking is to eliminate synthetic pesticides by 2030, starting from the most dangerous ones, to get to the total ban by 2035; restore natural ecosystems in agricultural areas and to reform farming, thus giving priority to an agricultural model on small scale that’s diverse and sustainable.

Click here for the Greenpeace petition – Click here for the Save bees and farmers petition.

by Michela Becchi