Many plants that produce important fruits, vegetables and nuts rely on pollinators like bees. Next week is Pollinator Week but a local bee advocacy group is planning an edgier celebration by going a bit against the pollen grain.
They plan actions beginning tomorrow in Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park for Pollinator Week.
WMNF interviewed Kriz Partridge, an organizer with Tampa’s Bee Against Monsanto.
“An official Pollinator week was put on by the Pollinator Partnership and it runs from June 16 through June 22 and it’s more or less an awareness raising campaign about the importance of our pollinator risk and what can be done to help them out. The funny thing is is that this pollinator partnership, the partnership itself consists of the big agricultural businesses and chemical companies that produce these pollinator killing pesticides and practices like that. Yesterday we put out a call to all our supporters to give them a ring and ask them what Monsanto and Bayer crop sciences are doing there and what crop life is doing on their partnership because that’s pretty much all the big agricultural companies are Bass, Bal, DuPont, Bayer, Monsanto, Syngenta. It really just seems to be another PR stunt to green-wash or what’s being termed as e-wash their companies for the negative practices and products that they produce.”
You’re intending to do some alternatives to that, what kinds of things might people expect next week?
“We’re going to put out a lot of information as far as bee friendly gardening practices. What kind of alternatives to pesticides that people can be using, what types of plants they may like to plant. We’re going to be inviting them out to essentially what we’re calling a global swarm to save the bee. We’ll be having actions in August around national honeybee day.”
Why are honeybees so important?
“Well, the honeybee, they’re our most prolific pollinator and they pollinate upwards of a third of all the food that we eat and they’re super effective recently. Many of us are aware of colony collapse disorder. What you might not be aware of is that in the last ten years 40% of honeybee hives have collapsed in the United States. So it’s a big threat and even if the plants aren’t directly, they don’t have to have the honeybees pollinate they still result like if you don’t have the honeybees you may not get as large of a yield when it comes to your crop and things like that so they’re super important and we’re out to save the bees this year.”
Looking forward to that August event, national honeybee day, what will happen then in Tampa?
“In Tampa since we’re kind of the home of the hive it’s cool. We actually have an international event going on. In Tampa, here, locally we plan on taking some direct action. You may see us in some of the local stores, spreading awareness. We’re going to be doing a number of actions, whether it be we’re going to have a march, we’ll likely have an educational day with some of the local bee keepers coming out to the same marketplace and actually this Saturday we’re planning a public display with the local Tampa Light Brigade to put out a save the bee message and raise some awareness now and start to stir things up.”
Where can people go to find more information?
“If you guys would like to find more information you can check out our website which right now links to our Facebook page, it’s BeeAgainstMonsanto.com”