Farmers, farmworkers and beekeepers confront EPA with 2.64 million dead bees

Farmers, farmworkers and beekeepers confront EPA with 2.64 million dead bees

National “Keep Hives Alive Tour” ends with rally at EPA

Media advisory for: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Over 40 percent of U.S. honeybee hives die each year, costing the farming and beekeeping industry more than $2 billion annually. On the Keep the Hives Alive Tour, farmers, farmworkers, beekeepers and food advocates across the nation have taken to the road to raise awareness about massive pollinator declines and the impacts on our food system.

After visiting cities in California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina Keep the Hives Alive will make its final stop in the nation’s capital during National Pollinator Week.  Beekeepers from across the country, farmers, farmworkers, scientists and advocates will bring a truck full of dead bees to Washington, D.C. to urge the EPA, the USDA, and Congress to take action on toxic pesticides and support sustainable agriculture. Advocates will rally in front of EPA headquarters with the bees to deliver millions of petition signatures calling for immediate action.

Who: Speakers include: Maryland Delegate Anne Healey, sponsor of Maryland’s Pollinator Protection Act — the first bill passed in the United States to eliminate consumer use of toxic neonicotinoids; Nora Pouillon, the founder of Restaurant Nora, America’s first certified organic restaurant; Scott Nash, CEO of Mom’s Organic Market, James Cook, commercial beekeeper with Old Mill Honey Company; Jim Goodman, farmer and owner of Northwood Organic Farm; Bonnie Raindrop, legislative chair with Central Maryland Beekeepers Association; Anna Aurilio, director with Environment America; Brent Bolin, Chesapeake regional director with Clean Water Action and Jose Manuel Guzman with CATA-El Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas.

What: EPA rally to urge immediate action on pesticide regulation to protect pollinators and our food supply. Petition delivery of more than 3 million petition signatures. Free ice cream donated by Ben & Jerry’s and Nature’s Path granola bars.

When: Wednesday, June 22 from 1:30PM to 2:30 PM

Where: U.S. EPA Headquarters (1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC, on 300 block of 12th street)

Visuals: Large commercial bee truck with 2.64 million dead bees, butterfly and bird puppets, beekeepers dressed in bee suits, parents and children dressed as pollinators, boxes with more than 3 million petition signatures to the EPA, large and small banners, and posters.

Social media: #KeepHivesAlive, @keephivesalive

More information on bee declines, tour stops, and coalition policy demands is available at and 


Expert contact: Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Friends of the Earth, (802) 258-0696, [email protected]

Communications contacts:
Kate Colwell, (703) 622-9093, [email protected] 
Courtney Sexton, 202-547-9359, [email protected]
Elizabeth Ouzts, (919) 672-9803, [email protected]

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