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Save the Bees Petition Hits Parliament

Save the Bees Petition Hits Parliament

New Zealanders are worried about threats to our honeybees and our honey industry, and want the Government to take action to protect our bees, Green Party food spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

Ms Kedgley is today tabling a six and half thousand signature petition in Parliament which calls on the Government to take urgent steps to ensure our honeybees do not suffer from mass die-offs, as is occurring overseas. In Europe, Asia and the United States bees are disappearing in a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. It is thought to result from toxic pesticides, parasitic mites, diseases and poor nutrition.

"We are calling on the Government to suspend the use of a group of pesticides known as neo-nicotinoids that are highly toxic to bees and are implicated in bee deaths around the world," said Ms Kedgley.

"These pesticides are widely used in New Zealand as sprays and to coat seeds such as squash, rye grass and corn.

"Our bees are already in a weakened state as a result of Varroa, and so we need to take steps now to protect them from any further threats.

"The demise of bees would put our entire food chain in danger, yet our Government is doing nothing to make sure it doesn't happen here," said Ms Kedgley.

Of the 100 crops that globally provide more than 90 percent of humanity's food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.

"The Green Party is also calling on the Government to abandon its reckless plans to allow Australian honey to be imported into New Zealand, as it could bring in diseases that would be disastrous for our bees."

Ms Kedgley said that with our track record of importing bee pests and disease, such as the Varroa mite, it is likely that one day soon we will find our bees are disappearing too, if we don't take action now.

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