Update July 9 2018 -- Confirmation of first ever varroa destructor mite detection on Australian soil
The varroa destructor mite is the most dangerous threat to bees on the planet. It has spread through every continent on earth except Australia. Until now.
It’s just been confirmed that for the first time the varroa destructor mite has been found on Australian soil.
Quarantine regulators destroyed the infected hive and are monitoring all hives in the Port Melbourne area to ensure no infected bees escaped.
But this is a wake up call. We cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to protecting our bees. So far Australia has been narrowly spared the catastrophic loss of bees seen across the world. But experts believe it’s only a matter of time before this luck runs out.
We can’t hold off this threat of forever but we can minimise the harm when it does arrive. One of the most critical things we can do to strengthen the health of our bees is to urgently end the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
Neonics weaken bees' immune systems and make hives even more vulnerable to the threat of parasites like the varroa mite and the viruses they carry.
This makes our call for a halt to all neonic use more urgent than ever. Please add your voice now.
You’re probably sick of hearing from us about bees. But trust me, you’ll want to hear this.
After years of determined campaigning from SumOfUs members and our partners across Europe, the EU just passed an unprecedented ban on three of the worst bee killing pesticides!
Hundreds of thousands of people like you took on Bayer and Syngenta -- some of the most powerful chemical companies in world -- and won.
On top of this, on Thursday the European Court of Justice struck out Bayer and Syngenta's attempts to sue the EU for standing up for bees!
But while our friends in Europe crack open the champagne, we have work to do: in Australia these same three chemicals are not only legal, but widely used. We need the Australian pesticide regulators to wake up and act before bee populations in Australia suffer a similar fate to those overseas.
Now is our chance. While Bayer and their teams of lawyers are licking their wounds we think we can turn the momentum from Europe’s strong action and persuade Australia to follow suit.
The pesticides banned in the EU belong to a category of chemicals called neonicotinoids. Scientists have been warning us for years that neonics are a key culprit behind the global bee die-off.
The active neurotoxins inside the chemicals scramble bees' ability to navigate. They are also harmful to bees’ immune systems, making them more vulnerable to infections that are spreading through bee populations like wildfire in many parts of the world.
Worried beekeepers, farmers, and people like you are speaking out for bees to be put before corporate interests. And the forces of people power are working.
Just this year, over 30,000 SumOfUs members in Australia scored a win: we got all major Australian supermarkets and hardware retailers to agree to phase out the neonics they stock. In North America, our community also convinced the biggest hardware stores to do the same.
Together, we also forced the French government to become the first country to decide to ban neonics.
We need strong laws and regulations to stop big corporations like Bayer and Syngenta from threatening bees in Australia for the sake of profit.
Australia’s pesticides regulator, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), has said it is not planning to review the use of neonics. In light of the EU’s bold ban to protect the bees, we're asking that the Australian regulators urgently reconsider.
Thankfully the full-fledged crisis that has swept through bee populations in the rest of the world hasn’t yet hit Australia in quite the same way. But we can’t afford to be complacent.
That’s why it’s so important that we do everything we can now to protect bees in Australia so we don’t end up facing the mass die-offs seen in other parts of the world.
We need your help to get tough on our regulators to do the right thing.
Join us -- call on our Government to ban neonics in Australia now.
The Weekly Times. 9 July 2018.
Science. 1 June 2018.
Politico. 17 May 2018.
ABC. 30 April 2018.
Reuters. 27 April 2018.
The Conversation. 30 April 2013.