Watchdog group Environment Texas delivered more than 12,000 petitions to the Texas Legislature urging it to pass a statewide ban on bee-killing pesticides known as neonicotinoids.
The petition drive is part of a nationwide push to protect bee colonies, which have been dwindling due to lack of habitat and other factors. U.S. beekeepers reported a loss of nearly 40% of all honeybee colonies last winter — the greatest hive loss in 13 years — according to a survey by the Bee Informed Partnership.
Neonicotinoids, widely used as pesticides in the U.S., act as a neurotoxin to bees. The chemicals are one of the biggest contributors to the destruction of bee colonies, according to recent scientific research
, and the colonies help pollinate the majority of the world's food crops.
Texas used some 350,000 pounds of neonicotinoids on agricultural land last year, according to Environment Texas.
“A world without bees would mean a world without apples, almonds, cherries, chocolate and coffee,” said Laura Rybicki, canvas director with Environment Texas. “We’re so grateful that people from all over Texas have offered enthusiastic support for this campaign and joined our call for a statewide ban on bee-killing pesticides.”
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