Support the "Don't kill our bees!" Petition

I have said in previous posts that I believe queen re-productivity has been compromised by pesticides. You can find a couple of these posts here: 
Two recent studies really caught my attention as they support the anecdotes of many beekeepers who feel a similar way to myself.  To keep this post brief I have picked out key paragraphs, but you can also find links to the full papers below.

The reproductive heart of the hive, the queen, is at great risk from pesticides

In a recent study of honey bee queen health and the effects of field realistic does of neonicotinoids the following observations were made:

"Queen health is crucial to colony survival of social bees. Recently, queen failure has been proposed to be a major driver of managed honey bee colony losses, yet few data exist concerning effects of environmental stressors on queens. Here we demonstrate for the first time that exposure to field-realistic concentrations of neonicotinoid pesticides during development can severely affect queens of western honey bees (Apis mellifera)."

"38% fewer neonicotinoid queens produced workers compared to controls"

The monitoring authorities are not measuring this

You would have thought that the reproductive ability of the hive would be the most carefully monitored  aspect of the hive, but the European Food and Safety Authority "Guidance on the risk assessment of plant protection products on bees 2013" does not directly monitor reproductive ability.

The partial ban on neonicotinoids needs to be extended to all crops

You would have thought that the ban on crops which are pollinated by bees would be sufficient to help the bees. However, there are many crops (wheat for example) which are not pollinated by bees and are exempt from the ban. In this recent study it was found that:

"throughout spring and summer, mixtures of neonicotinoids are also found in the pollen and nectar of wildflowers growing in arable field margins, at concentrations that are sometimes even higher than those found in the crop. Indeed the large majority (97%) of neonicotinoids brought back in pollen to honey bee hives in arable landscapes was from wildflowers, not crops"

What can we do? 

A good thing you can do now would be to get the issues openly debated in Parliament by helping this petition get 100,000 signatures (it's nearly there!):

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