FRESNO, Calif.

Beekeepers petition for ban on pesticide said to kill bees

Commercial beekeepers and environmental organizations filed a petition Wednesday, asking federal regulators to suspend use of a pesticide they say harms honeybees.

The group is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban the insecticide clothianidin, one of a class of chemicals that act on the central nervous system of insects.

Beekeepers and some scientists say the chemicals known as neonicotinoids are lethal to bees and weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to pathogens. They say it could contribute to colony collapse disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly disappear or die. Since it was recognized in 2006, the disease has destroyed colonies at a rate of about 30 percent a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In response to calls for the ban on clothianidin and other neonicotinoids, the EPA is currently conducting a re-evaluation of these pesticides.

Bees pollinate about a third of U.S. crops.

NEW YORK

Hundreds march in memory of teenager shot in Florida

The parents of a black teenager shot to death by a Hispanic neighborhood watch captain in Florida told hundreds of people at a march in his memory on Wednesday that they won’t stop until they get justice for him.

“My son did not deserve to die,” the teenager’s father, Tracy Martin, said after thanking the crowd.

Martin’s son, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was killed Feb. 26, in Sanford, Fla. He was returning to a gated community in the city after buying candy at a convenience store. He was unarmed and was wearing a hooded sweat shirt.

The neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, has not been charged in the shooting. Zimmerman has said the teen attacked him and he shot him in self-defense.

On Wednesday night, demonstrators chanted “we want arrests” during the Million Hoodie March in Manhattan’s Union Square.

The teen’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, told the crowd: “My heart is in pain, but to see the support of all of you really makes a difference.”

The demonstrators greeted the teen’s parents with “God bless you!”