Monday, December 15, 2014

Getting Ready for 2015! Meantime...HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

We will bee preparing for actions in 2015 very soon! Including the 

March Against Monsanto and Pesticide Free Neighborhoods Project

In the meantime Bee Safe and Bee Merry!

Bee Merry Design by Christine Rossi Art ©2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Speak up for the Bees Before November 24th!

The inter-agency Pollinator Health Task Force, announced over the summer by President Obama, is accepting public comments until November 24. 

Join us in calling for swift, meaningful action to protect bees — particularly from the clear threat of pesticides.
Co-led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Pollinator Health Task Force is charged with promoting the “health of honey bees and other pollinators."
Let’s make sure they do just that! Will you sign the petition urging the Task Force to effectively and directly address bee-toxic pesticides?

Take action >>

The Bees Thank You!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

This Weekend BEE at the Green Festival in San Francisco


At the Fort Mason Center
2 Marina Blvd.
San Francisco CA 94123
All Day today until 6PM 
and All Day Sunday until 6PM!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Please take some time to Read and Sign this Petition!

President Obama recently announced a new federal task force to "promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators." 

It’s encouraging that the White House is taking on this critical issue, recognizing the importance of bees for food, farming and our economy. But we need to ensure this new move results in real, long-lasting protections for pollinators — and we need your help to do it. 

Sign the petition urging President Obama to ensure this task force results in meaningful protections for bees!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Why Our Pollinators Need Our Help

Honey Bees and Native Pollinators Need Our Help (Published in the Daily Californian)
©By Christine M. Rossi, September 2014

On August 16, 2014 Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates proclaimed Honey Bee Awareness Day in the City of Berkeley. This coincided with National Honey Bee Day. Folks across the nation and in several other countries celebrated the Honey Bee by educating the public on the contributions of these tiny pollinators, share information about how they are in danger of complete population collapse world wide; and protest against Bayer, Monsanto, Dow and other Corporations who promote mono-crop agriculture and the extensive use of GMO’s, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to control pests on crops (all of which they produce).
Honey Bee on Ivy Flowers  ©CRossi 2014

Honeybees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food that we eat, not to mention their contribution to the pollination of food crops for livestock, and their impact on the diversity of the ecosystem as a whole. Along with native pollinators (honeybees were introduced from Europe in the 1600’s) they are responsible for maintaining pollination of most fruits and vegetables that we consume as well as cotton, alfalfa, almonds, sunflowers, coffee… and the list goes on.

There are many factors that are contributing to the population drop including climate change, loss of habitat, potable water, limited diet, the varroa mite, pathogens; and the overuse of pesticides on crops. One group of pesticides called Neonicotinoids are a big part of the problem. 

In the U.S., Neonicotinoids are currently used on the majority of corn and canola crops, cotton, sorghum, and sugar beets; and about half of all soybeans. They’re also used on the vast majority of fruit and vegetable crops.  They are systemic and persistent, which means they stay in the plant and make their way to the pollen and nectar. Bayer Corporation produces three of the common Neonicotinoids on the market and one, Imidacloprid, is the most widely used, found in most home garden treatments as well as used on most crops. Interestingly enough in 2012 Bayer voluntarily removed it for use on the almond trees in California, because of its high toxicity to bees.

Bayer and other chemical producers like Dow and Syngenta who also produce Neonicotinoids blame this crisis on everything but their products. Profit is their bottom line. The research on Bee health by these corporations does not seem to be very holistic in their approach. The focus has been on control of bee pests such as the Varroa and tracheal mites with more chemicals, and the continued denial that their chemicals have any effect on the health of bees and other pollinators.

Several studies have been published over the past couple of years listing Neonicotinoids as one of the biggest factors in the population decline; Yale University, 2013, Harvard University 2014 and Pesticide Research Institute 2013 & 2014, Nature 2014.  The European Union has banned the use of Neonicotinoids, and GMO seeds which are treated with Neonicotinoid on crops in Europe.

Effects of Neonicotinoids on bees include death; at lower doses, it weakens their immune system making them more susceptible to pathogens and pests. It is a neurotoxin that also causes disorientation, damaging a bee’s homing ability, and their ability to feed. All of which are signs of Colony Collapse disorder.

I am part of a grass roots effort to bring this issue to the forefront and to help people understand what we are up against, to encourage the public to vote with their checkbooks, support the pollinators by planting pollinator friendly plants, buying from nurseries that sell organic or certified pesticide free plants. Don’t buy plants from big box stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, Orchard Supply Hardware, or Wal-Mart and don’t buy garden products produced by Bayer, Dow, Syngenta or Monsanto.

Also, write your representatives in the State Government. The California Assembly just passed a bill AB-1789 postponing investigation of the issues with Neonicotinoids until at least 2018, which means no regulation changes on their use in California until 2020! This is a dangerous and shortsighted precedent and Governor Jerry Brown needs to be encouraged to veto this bill.

Bayer, Monsanto and other corporations say they want to make a difference but all I see is a desire to make a profit at the expense of the rest of us. Instead of throwing more chemistry at the problem, it would be amazing to see a paradigm shift in attitudes and see some of the vast profits that these corporations make put to use coming up with better ways to manage crops, change the way crops are planted to encourage biodiversity, not only for Honey Bees, but also for other pollinators that are essential for our food economy.

“Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson in 1962 helped ban the use of DDT; which was responsible for the decline of birds and fish at the top of the food chain. We are in the throws of another “Silent Spring”, this at the base of the food chain which will not only affect natural diversity but us humans and our ability to feed ourselves. It is time to empower the public to take a stand or suffer the consequences.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Oakland Climate Change Rally a Great Success!

We had a great day at the NorCal Climate change Rally on Sunday!
Some photos  and a link to more photos at the 350 Bay Area website!


Breaking News! Seattle Bans Neonics!


On Monday, September 22nd, 2014 the Seattle City Council overwhelmingly approved an ordinance, R. 31548, that bans the use of products containing Neonicotinoids.

The Resolution states:
• The City of Seattle will NOT purchase or use any neonicotinoid pesticides for any purpose and will seek to use only pollinator-friendly methods of weed and pest control management on any city-owned or operated land.

• The Mayor and the Seattle City Council supports a national moratorium on the sale and use of neonicotinoids.

• The Mayor and Seattle City Council strongly urges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend the registration of imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotafuran and any other neonicotinoids until the EPA can complete its environmental assessments.

• The Mayor and the Seattle City Council strongly urges the White House Task Force on Pollinator Health to recommend or institute an immediate moratorium on all uses of neonicotinoids.

• The Mayor and Seattle City Council strongly urges businesses operating within the City of Seattle to take immediate steps to ensure NO plants, seeds, or products containing neonicotinoids are purchased, sold, or used within the City of Seattle.

***The City of Eugene, Oregon, became the first community in the nation to specifically ban from city property the use of "neonic" pesticides earlier this year. Spokane, Washington, was next in line in June. Shorewood, Minnesota, followed in August. THANK YOU, to all the citizens of SEATTLE, for stepping up to#SaveTheBees and #SaveOurPollinators - which city will be LUCKY NUMBER FIVE?!?

MANY THANKS to the Coalition of Organizations, and many volunteers that made this possible, including (but not limited to) Central Co-op (who co-sponsored the online petition), Seattle TilthBee Safe Neighborhoods,Bee Against MonsantoSeattle March Against Monsanto, NW Center For Alternative To Pesticides,, CAGJ, Beacon Food Forest,Seattle Sierra Club and all of the amazing people we met, who personally signed the offline petition. Thank You!  

Read more here:

And here:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Images from the People's Climate Change Rally in Oakland CA, September 21

Its too bad we didn't get much media coverage, the rally was amazing!!! Maybe not as big as NYC but still a couple of thousand at least! These are photos taken by one of our group. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014


We will BEE at the Climate Change Rally in Oakland with a hive and information on September 21 from 2 to 5PM

At the Lake Merritt Amphitheater
12th Street and Lake Merritt Blvd.

Join Us!

Official site for the rally:

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Article Published in the Daily Californian

I have just had an opinion article published in the Daily Californian.
Link here...Honeybees and Native Pollinators Heed Our Help

Unfortunately, the graphic is a bit off-putting. The staff artist used a phalaenopsis Orchid, which is a house plant, as the bee flower. I appreciate that they ran the article but having graphics that indicate false information is a step down for aspiring journalist. 

I think this is the point they were trying to make...

graphic taken from Eco Watch website...
showing how systemic pesticides work on the bees and pollinators 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gardeners BEE-Ware! Report on Neonicotinoids in your Bee Friendly Plants!


For those who haven't seen this report yet.
Please take a look.
The report was Drafted by Pesticide Research Institute on what they found in "Bee Friendly" plants at Big Box Stores.
Also information on the toxicity of the major Consumer Brands of garden pesticides sold at these box stores.

Remember these pesticides affect all the pollinators not only Honeybees!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Few More Photos from National Honeybee Day

The Stars of the Show! 
Booth At the Berkeley Farmers' Market
The Best Worker Bees Ever!
More of the Best Worker Bees!
Photos by Susan Mac Kenzie and Bonnie Borucki

Monday, August 18, 2014

Honey Bee Awareness Day at Berkeley Farmers' Market

Photos by Cecilia Stolzer-Grote
A small protest at Bayer Corporation was fun lots of cars honking in support! But the real star was the booth at the Berkeley Farmers' Market. We were swamped all day with people wanting to know why the bees are dying and what they can do to help. We even had some of Berkeley's Finest asking about how to help save the bees!
A successful day all around! 

Many thanks to:
    • Ecology Center Farmer’s Market 
    • BeeAgainstMonsanto
    • We Bee Gardeners
    • Westbrae Nursery
    • Transition Berkeley
    • The Berkeley PD
    • Green Peace Oakland
    • Organic Consumers Association
    • Friends of the Earth
    • Pesticide Action Network
    • The City Of Berkeley
    • Mayor Tom Bates and his staff
    • Occupella
    • Bonnie, Ally, Rachael and Dan
    • Bee Keepers Everywhere

...and of course, THE BEES!!!!!