H.4187 – An Act Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators

Our Bees and Native Pollinators Need Our Help Again!!!

As most of you are aware, there has been a lot of activity on Beacon Hill that will affect our bees and native pollinators for many years to come. One of the bills that has been proposed, H.4187 – An Act Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators, is groundbreaking legislation that will regulate the use of the neonicotinoid class of pesticides that an overwhelming body of world wide, peer reviewed scientific research has shown to be one of the primary causes of the death and decline of our bees and native pollinators that we are all acutely aware of. Other states, such as Maryland, have already taken the lead in this fight by passing similar legislation. It is time for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to step up and do the right thing. To make that happen we need each and every one of you to email or snail mail your state senator and your state representative. A sample letter can be found below the line that you can copy and paste. To find your legislator please use the search by location tool on the right hand side of the page that the Find Your Legislators link points to. Please also share the link to this page with as many people as possible on Facebook, Twitter, by email or by whatever means you can.

Find Your Legislators -> https://malegislature.gov/People/Search
H.4187 -> https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/House/H4187

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{date}
{my town}, MA

Dear {Representative or Senator} {Last Name},

As a beekeeper and one of your constituents, I urge you to support H.4187 – An Act Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators. This bill would place bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides only in the hands of those trained to use them. By protecting our honey bees and native pollinators, we will ensure a safe and plentiful food supply. We will also protect wildlife and human health by reducing the widespread use of these toxic pesticides.

Bees and other pollinators are responsible for 1 in every 3 bites of food we eat and account for as much as $27 billion to the U.S. economy annually, but bees and other pollinators are in great peril and populations are dwindling worldwide. A large and growing body of science has implicated neonicotinoids as a leading factor of their decline. These pesticides are widely used in agriculture, used on 140 crops and in gardens and landscapes. Acute exposure to these pesticides can directly kill bees and make them more vulnerable to pests, pathogens and other stressors while impairing their foraging and feeding abilities, reproduction and memory. Some of the neonicotinoids are 5,000-10,000 times more acutely toxic to bees than DDT.

In response to mounting evidence and growing consumer demand, the European Union banned several neonicotinoid pesticides, and Ontario, Canada has significantly limited their use. In April, the state of Maryland passed a bill to eliminate consumer use of these pesticides and a few weeks later Connecticut passed a similar piece of legislation. In the U.S., more than 30 municipalities and universities in the U.S. and more than 30 retailers including the two largest home improvement retailers in the world—Home Depot and Lowe’s—have taken action to restrict their use.

In January 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that the most widely used neonicotinoid, imidacloprid, is highly toxic to bees, with exposure resulting in reduced numbers of worker bees, less foraging and delayed development. The agency won’t conclude the final version of this assessment and others, including potential mitigations, for at least two more years.

If current rates of bee die-offs continue (an average of more than 30 percent per year) and with Massachusetts beekeepers losing 46.4% of their hives just this past year, it is unlikely that the Massachusetts beekeeping industry will survive, putting our agriculture industry and our food supply at serious risk.

The bee problem is complex; bees are having trouble for many reasons, but the evidence clearly shows that neonicotinoid pesticides are a key part of the problem and something we can fix now. Reducing the use of these pesticides will help bees.

It’s vitally important that you vote for H.4187-An Act Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators. The reasonable steps in this bill will help protect the health of people and pollinators and keep Massachusetts beekeepers, wildlife, food system and environment healthy and thriving.

Please vote for H.4187-An Act Protecting Massachusetts Pollinators.

Regards,
-{my name}

Mass Bee Field Day – 2016

Saturday, June 18, 2016

University of Massachusetts Agronomy Farm
89 River Rd. South Deerfield, MA.

The 2016 Field Day will take place on Saturday June 18th at the University of Massachusetts Agronomy Farm, Deerfield, MA. Field Day is an opportunity to learn from experienced beekeepers the practical tasks of hive management. Expert beekeepers·volunteer their time to share techniques on pest & disease management, Queen rearing, swarm prevention, and a variety of practical skills.· It is an excellent opportunity to learn, ask questions from some of our best state and New England beekeepers, meet beekeepers from other clubs throughout the state and participate in or watch activities like the smoker contest.

Free Event (Lunch $10.000) – Registration Required!!!

More Information and registration form available at: 2016 Mass Bee Field Day

Map: UMass Agronomy Farm

Vendors: Better Bee, Brushy Mountain, Gold Star, Mann Lake, and Slovenian Beekeeping.