The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Expert contacts: Tiffany Finck-Haynes, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0715,

Preston Peck, Toxic Free NC, (919) 833-1123,

Emma Pullman,, (778) 887-6776.

Communications contact: Kate Colwell, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0744,

Beekeepers, Farmers, and Students to Swarm North Carolina State Capitol


Farmers, beekeepers, environmentalists, students, and other members of the North Carolina community will swarm the North Carolina Capitol building in bee costumes on Saturday to help save the bees. Local stakeholders will speak and deliver petition signatures from more than 500,000 Americans, urging Bayer, one of the manufacturers of neonicotinoids -- a leading driver of bee declines -- to stop manufacturing and selling these harmful chemicals.

In the face of mounting evidence and growing consumer demand, more responsible retailers, towns and federal agencies have decided to champion the bee crisis. The European Union banned several neonicotinoids; Ontario, Canada pledged to reduce neonicotinoid-coated corn and soy seeds by 80 percent by 2017; cities and states across the U.S. have passed measures to address pesticide use; and more than 30 retailers across the country have taken steps to eliminate the sale of these chemicals.

What: A rally and petition delivery to call-on Bayer to stop selling bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides.

When: Saturday, September 19 at 11 a.m. EST

Where: Outside the North Carolina State Capitol Building (south side across from Fayetteville Street), 1 East Edenton Street Raleigh, NC 27601; proximal to the Bayer CropScience North America headquarters and Bayer Bee Care Center in Research Triangle Park.

Who: Farmers, beekeepers, environmentalists, students, members of the North Carolina community and bee-lovers from Friends of the Earth, League of Conservation Voters, MoveOn, North Carolina League of Conservation Voters, Organic Consumers Association, Save our Environment, Sierra Rise, SumOfUs, and Toxic Free North Carolina.

Speakers include: Gaby Benitez, Duke student and President of Food for Thought; Preston Peck, Policy Advocate at Toxic Free NC; Charles McNair, organic farmer and president of the NC Rastafarian Union; Tony Kleese, organic farmer and owner of Earthwise Organics.

Representatives from Bayer have been invited to attend the event.

Visuals will include activists in bee costumes, drawings of bees from Raleigh elementary school students and bee hives to represent 500,000 petition signatures.

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

(202) 783-7400