Amazon, Walmart and others should do more for bees

Nine states have adopted bee-friendly policies that Amazon and other retail giants will follow. They should make it a national standard.

Take Action

Amazon and its competitors can take action to save the bees.

States are stepping up to save the bees by restricting a class of bee-killing pesticides called neonicotinoids (“neonics”). 

Starting in 2016, Connecticut, Maryland, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and most recently — drumroll — Colorado have restricted the sale and/or use of neonics. As well they should. 

Neonics impair the nervous system of bees and have been shown to harm baby bee brains. These pesticides paralyze and kill nature’s best pollinators. With both native bees and honey bees struggling, we need to do more to protect them. 

Colorado Gov. Polis signs a bill to limit bee-killing neonics.

Corporations already do this 

And here’s the thing… Massive retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot and more already or soon will follow these laws in the nine bee-friendly states. Laws are laws. 

And as long as they are doing so, they should stop selling neonics at all stores across the country. 

These companies can (and should) get ahead of the curve. It was only seven years ago that Connecticut and Maryland passed the first state laws to restrict neonics, and efforts are underway to greatly expand the save-the-bees map. 

Plus, it’s not as if these retail giants are unaware of the struggles of bees and other pollinators. In fact, they’ve begun to take some actions. Walmart has a policy to “source 100% of [its] fresh produce and floral…from suppliers that adopt integrated pest management practices” by 2025. The Home Depot pledged to eliminate the sale of plants treated with neonics. And Amazon, well, it sells “save the bees” t-shirts.

Let’s make it national policy

If these retail giants can abide by the laws in nine states that restrict the sale of neonics, they can adopt a national policy to stop selling bee-killing pesticides. 

We’re calling on them to do so. Join us. 

Emily Kowalski | TPIN
An Environment Illinois save-the-bees event.

Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America

Steve directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our public lands and waters and the species that depend on them. He led our successful campaign to win full and permanent funding for our nation’s best conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He previously oversaw U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns. Steve lives in Sacramento, California, with his family, where he enjoys biking and exploring Northern California.

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