As Mainers, we must reconcile with the simple conclusion that we are in a state of environmental crisis. Honeybees, a cornerstone of agricultural sustainability, are being threatened by toxic pesticides known as neonicotinoids. This pesticide is typically sprayed by farmers on an industrial scale without regard to its devastating impact on bee populations. Neonicotinoids are unnecessary as there are a variety of alternative pesticides available to farmers that we can and should be using.

The solution is simple yet profound: Ban neonicotinoids.

However, the iron grip of the chemical industry, including Dow Chemical equipped with deep pockets and an army of lobbyists, has ensured any action taken against it is silenced and forgotten. They do not regard Mainers as their deepest interest or concern, but instead view enormous profit and continuing the status quo as the absolute bottom line.

We are not scared enough. Instead, we should be terrified. The crisis that threatens Maine’s ecological balance is upon us as we lost 56 percent of bees in Maine from 2017 to 2018 alone. Understand this: Neglecting bee population from careless use of neonicotinoids will result in dire consequences if we do not act quickly.

Organizing is the instrument of the people, and thus we must organize. The robber barons of the chemical industry should expect a massive reaction from those that will bear the weight of their carelessness. If we do not fight back, what are we really saying? We know why bees are dying and what we must do – as well as the consequences of sitting idly by.

So, call your legislators and implore them to take political courage to protect bees. We can protect Maine: we just have to decide to do so.

Graham Munro-Ludders

Bath


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