National Dead Bee Tour Brings Urgency to Global Pollinator Decline and Includes North Carolina Stop
Released by Preston Peck, toxicfreenc.org
With over an average of 40 percent of US honeybee hives dying and costing over $2 billion each year, farmers, food advocates, beekeepers, and environmental groups across the nation are taking to the road to raise awareness on the massive decline. A rally and press conference are planned in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, on June 20, 2016, as part of a nationwide pollinator-awareness tour.
The Keep the Hives Alive Tour will stop in cities in California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina during National Pollinator Week, June 13-23. At the end of the tour, beekeepers, farmers, farmworkers, scientists and advocates will bring a truck load of dead bees to Washington, DC to urge the US EPA, the USDA, and Congress to take action on toxic pesticides and support sustainable agriculture.
“I’m part of the next generation of beekeepers who wants to make a living keeping bees — and to do that, we have to help solve this problem,” said James Cook, who owns The Bird and the Bees LLC and is driving a bee truck cross-country for the tour. “In the five years since I started keeping bees, I’ve seen many hives killed by pesticides. If some fundamental things don’t change, it’s going to be really hard for beekeepers to adapt to the environment around us.”
Toxic Free North Carolina will host a rally and press conference in front of Bayer Crop Science North American Headquarters in Research Triangle Park as part of the national Keep the Hives Alive Tour. This beekeeper, farmer, and activist led action will call on major pesticide-producing companies, such as Bayer Crop Science, to take on more corporate responsibility by phasing out bee-killing pesticides that researchers are finding in our soil, water, and decimating various ecosystems.
The North Carolina Rally and press conference are hosted by Toxic Free North Carolina to create further awareness of the relationship between pesticides and pollinators. Starting at 11am on June 20, 2016, join beekeepers, farmers, environmental organizations, and other supporters from around North Carolina and the country at 2 TW Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park NC.
- Bill Kearney, faith leader and member of Warren County Environmental Action Team
- Tony Kleese, owner of Earthwise Organics in Chapel Hill
- Liz Lindsey, master beekeeper, from Durham County Beekeeping Association
- Nick Wood, State Organizing Director, Appalachian Voices
- Charles McNair, founder of Freedom Farm in Goldsboro
Also, Toxic Free North Carolina and supporters will demand government accountability for ensuring bee and other pollinator health by asking the US EPA for a moratorium of neonicotinoid insecticides linked to the bee colony collapse crisis.
The full 2016 Keep the Hives Alive Tour schedule is:
- June 13: Blue Dasher Farm, Brookings SD
- June 14: Minneapolis MN
- June 16: Ann Arbor MI
- June 16: Detroit MI
- June 18: Lewisburg PA
- June 20: Research Triangle Park, NC (11am to 1pm)
- June 22-23: Washington, DC
More information on bee declines, tour stops, and coalition policy demands is available at keephivesalive.org.
For more information on the Research Triangle Park NC event, contact Preston Peck of Toxic Free NC at 919.833.1123 (office), 256.483.9503 (cellular phone), or via email.
For events in other cities, contact Tiffany Finck-Haynes of Friends of the Earth at 202.222.0715, email@example.com.