The mysterious disappearance of billions of bees has coincided with the use of systemic pesticides known as neonicotinoids. These damage the bee’s immune system in subsequent generations, making them vulnerable to disease. Manufactured by the pharmaceutical corporation, Bayer (CropScience), these toxins also affect the ability of the bees to navigate - they suffer from loss of memory and co-ordination and literally cannot find their way home.
Neonicotinoids are illegal in many European countries, including France, Germany and Italy. Governments in Britain and the United States have made no move towards banning their use. Meanwhile other organisations, such as the film’s distributor the Co-op (Plan Bee), the WI (SOS for Bees), Waveney Beekeepers (who run free beekeeping courses) and Transition initiatives, such as Sustainable Bungay (who are starting their own Community Supported Beehives), are taking matters into their own hands.
Perhaps the most effective way individuals and families can help every day is by eating fruit and vegetables grown without chemicals on organic farms or in local allotments and gardens which support a strong diversity of wild and domestic plants. By “voting with our forks” we will be giving back pollen and nectar to one of our greatest and most ancient allies on earth. (Charlotte Du Cann/Communications)
* STOP PRESS * In reference to the above some of you artists out there may have noted that there's an art exhibition planned for January 2010 at The Forum entitled 'The Elements' which is sponsored by Bayer CropScience. The Forum Trust is currently inviting entries from artists working with themes of 'Man and the Environment' from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire. So please think twice before you pick up that paintbrush! (Andy Croft, Communications)