Activists to bring millions of dead bees to EPA headquarters

Activists to bring millions of dead bees to EPA headquarters
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Activists are planning to take 2.64 million dead bees to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters as they seek to bring attention to the plight of the insect.

Joined by beekeepers, the advocates are pressuring the EPA to better regulate chemicals and pesticides that they say are harmful to bees and other pollinators.

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“The millions of dead bees that have accompanied us during the Keep the Hives Alive Tour are carrying a message — this is just a tiny fraction of the devastation beekeepers are dealing with year after year,” Larissa Walker, pollinator program director at the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement.

“It’s well past time for policymakers to wake up and take action to curb the use of the toxic pesticides that are harming pollinators, people and our environment,” she said.

The bee rally will be the culmination of a week of events around the country organized by the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council and others.

In a study released in May and supported by the Department of Agriculture, beekeepers reported losing 44 percent of their colonies between April 2015 and April 2016.

A family of pesticides known as neonicotinoids have in recent years become a main focus of bee preservation efforts.

The EPA officially found in January that the neonicotinoid imidacloprid can harm bees, the first part of a multi-part effort to study the pesticide family after years of pressure from activists.

But the EPA has not officially proposed any measures to further restrict the use of the pesticide.