Activists say more needs to be done to save bees

Published: Aug. 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT
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A law signed by Gov. Phil Scott in May aims to help pollinators in the state of Vermont, but activists say more needs to be done.

The law restricts the use of neonicotinoids, a pesticide that is known to harm bees. It is now off the shelf for home growing gardens but still is available on the commercial level.

Nationwide, 40 percent of hives were lost between 2017 and 2018, but Vermont officials say the loss was upward of 57 percent.

Activists and beekeepers who gathered at the Statehouse on Thursday say more work can be done.

"It's the first step in the right direction of moving us away from putting pesticides in our environment," said Shania Casper with the Toxics Action Center. "The only thing we intentionally released into the environment to kill living things and help to protect our pollinators."

Beekeeper Ross Conrads says he's glad the Legislature has taken concrete steps to reduce one single family of pesticides.

"The reality is all pesticides affect pollinators and bees so we really have a long way to go still," Conrad said.

Activists say the fight is not over and they will continue to look to get rid of pesticides in Vermont.