Breaking news April 29th 2016 . . . . . . . Our bees are in danger AGAIN!

 Powerful pesticide lobbyists are trying to get banned bee-killing pesticides back on UK fields.

They’ve asked the government to lift the ban for certain crops planted this year [1]. Liz Truss, the environment minister, will make the final decision in the next few weeks. So she needs to hear from hundreds of thousands of us right now that we expect her to stand up for Britain’s bees.

Please can you sign the petition demanding that she keeps bee-killing pesticides off UK fields?

The pesticides, called neonicotinoids, are banned across Europe because they’re responsible for killing our bees. [3] But Liz Truss could ignore the ban and allow toxic pesticides onto British fields for crops planted this summer.

She ignored the ban last year. Hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members put up a good fight - but we lost because the government gagged their own experts, then made the final decision behind closed doors. [

But while we were on the backfoot last year, this year we’re ahead. Already 160,000 of us have signed the petition. [5] We’ve been contacting our MPs and planning an event in parliament. Together we’re ready for this moment.

Our bees don’t have a voice, but 38 Degrees members do. Please sign the petition now

Thanks for being involved,

Maddy, Amy, Maggie, the 38 Degrees team and millions of British bees

PS: This petition is one of many people-powered ways to protect our bees this summer. More than 30,000 of us are planting bee-friendly flower seeds. Over the next few weeks thousands of us will be emailing, tweeting, calling and meeting our MPs - to make sure every one of them knows they need to stand up for our bees. The first step is to sign the petition. Just click above NOW!

LATEST NEWS 13th May 2016

Photo credit: Gemma Sutton
Posted: Friday, 13 May 2016

Ministers reject plan for the ‘emergency’ use of banned bee-harming pesticides

National Farming Union’s application for banned pesticide use on oil seed rape crops is rejected as government rules against neonicotinoids for the first time.

Ministers have rejected an “emergency” application from the National Farmers Union (NFU) to use banned pesticides on a third of all oilseed rape crops.

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been shown to be harmful to bees and were banned from use on flowering crops by the EU in 2013, a move opposed by the UK government. But ministers granted a temporary lifting of the ban in 2015 after the NFU argued it was needed to fight the cabbage stem flea beetle (CSFB).

However the government’s scientific advisers said this year’s application, from the NFU and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, should not be granted. Farming minister George Eustice then rejected the plan, the first time the government has ruled against neonicotinoid use.

The Expert Committee on Pesticides (ECP) said the application contained “insufficient information to ensure that use will be limited only to those areas where there is a danger or threat to plant protection and [did not] offer adequate assurance that the use will be controlled in an appropriate fashion”.

Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, said: “Oilseed rape yields went up by 7% last year - this is not an ‘emergency’, the loss of bees and pollinating insects is the emergency.

“The decision is great news for the bees and for the hundreds of thousands of British people who have asked the government to do more to protect our disappearing pollinators.”

“It is disappointing that the reasoning of the ECP in refusing to support the applications focusses more on technical issues relating to targeting and control, rather than the more obvious point that the confirmed risks of using these agrotoxins clearly outweigh the elusive claimed benefits,” Shardlow said.

Friends of the Earth’s Dave Timms said: “The ECP has given a damning verdict on the applications. We hope the NFU will get the message and give up trying to bring back these dangerous chemicals. Ministers must now push for the ban on these chemicals to be made permanent.”

The NFU said it will persist in applying for the emergency use of neonicotinoids on behalf of farmers facing pressure from CSFB.

“This [rejection] is a blow for arable farmers across the country whose oilseed rape crops are under heavy threat from CSFB,” said NFU vice president Guy Smith. “We remain committed to obtaining approval for the emergency use of neonicotinoid seed treatments for this planting season. These plant protection products are absolutely vital in protecting England’s oilseed rape crop from pests.”

The applications and supporting evidence are kept secret but Shardlow said they should be published. “This only favours the manufacturers – who have been allowed to attend the ECP meetings – and profoundly disadvantages the public.”

In 2015, the ECP declined the NFU’s first application and the government delayed publication of this decision in order to prevent campaigners lobbying ministers on the issue, according to documents seen by the Guardian. The NFU’s second application, for a smaller area, was accepted.

LATEST NEWS 9th June 2016

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BREAKING: last night powerful lobbyists put in yet another application to bring back bee-killing pesticides to our fields. And government advisers will be approving or blocking the application this Tuesday (14/6/2016)

At the moment these pesticides are banned because of the toxic impact they have on our environment, including bees. The ban's still in place thanks to you and thousands of other 38 Degrees members blocking the lobbyist's previous application earlier this year. [

Now we need to stop it again. Nat, will you share the video and petition to save our bees with with your friends on Facebook now? Let's reach 300,000 signatures before it's delivered to the government:



Click on the video screen


If this all feels a bit familiar, you’d be right. Powerful lobbyists tried to get the ban lifted earlier this year (and twice last year). Together we stopped them. Now the lobbyists are trying their luck again.

Bees are pretty important creatures. And not just because they are a much-loved part of our countryside. They pollinate tons of fruit and vegetables. Our countryside - and our dinner plates - would be much poorer without them.

The toxic-pesticide lobbyists will now be throwing everything into swinging the decision. They’re desperate to get their chemicals back on UK fields. They have deep pockets - but we have people power (over 250,000 of us!) and together we can persuade Environment Minister Liz Truss to do the right thing. So please can you share the petition today?


Thanks for being involved


REALLY GOOD NEWS 6th July 2016

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We’ve done it! Again! 38 Degrees members have helped protect our bees - by pressuring the government to keep the ban on bee-killing pesticides this summer. [1]

Here’s how we did it - how hundreds of thousands of 38 Degrees members piled the pressure on the government to protect our bees:
  • 305,000 of us signed the petition to keep bee-killing pesticides off UK fields this summer. We delivered every name to government ministers before the decision was made.
  • Thousands of us emailed our MPs to make sure they had copies of our hard hitting report. Our report pulled apart the powerful lobbyists’ claims that they needed the ban lifted. And we delivered it directly into the hands of the government’s expert advisors.
  • We caused a buzz on social media when tens of thousands of us tweeted the government ministers making the decision on bee-killing pesticides.
  • We persuaded almost a hundred MPs to come along and listen to a panel of experts at our event in Parliament. [2]

Thank you, for standing up for our bees. Here’s a few suggestions for ways you can celebrate - and continue to protect our buzzy friends:

Got 1 minute? Click the celebratory image to share it on your Facebook: