Enabling change in our Society, Environment and Economy (SEE)

Protecting our bees

Did you know…

  • Since 2006, the number of honey bees worldwide has rapidly declined in the US, with the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicating that 23 percent of managed bee colonies were lost over the winter season between 2013 and 2014, Reuters reports.
  • In June 2014 President Barack Obama announced plans for a task force to help save the bees.
  • Neonicotinoids (neonics) are a group of widely used pesticides that are harmful to bees. In 2013 the European Union banned the use of some neonics.


ACT for Bees cares about the health of our gardens. A healthy garden attracts a wide range of pollinators including bees, however the health of bees and other pollinators (which fertilise three- quarters of the world’s crops) are being threatened by a group of pesticides called neonicitinoids. These are Systemic Pesticides and by treating one part of the plant, (seed, leaf or flower) the whole plant including the pollen and nectar becomes toxic. One treatment can last years in the soil and up to 6 years in woody plants.

At sub-lethal levels they appear to disrupt the immune system and the navigational system in bees so they can’t find their way back to the hive. In 2013, the European Union responded to concerns about neonicitinoids effect on bees by imposing a 2-year moratorium on some uses of three of these neonicitinoids.

A comprehensive scientific assessment has found that neonicitinoids are contaminating almost all habitats and putting global food production at risk.http://www.tfsp.info/worldwide-integrated-assessment/

Neonicitinoids are used in the Nursery and Garden Industry and plants you buy from nurseries and hardware storesould well have been treated with neonicitinoid pesticides. Even plants labeled ‘Bee Friendly’ may have been sprayed with pesticides that are toxic to bees. It is very difficult to know which plants have been treated.

Ask the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia to remove neonicitinoids from the industry.

ACT for Bees has written to the CEO Robert Prince to request that neonicitinoid pesticides are removed from the NGIA and we need you to follow up with a letter or email to the Board of Directors: info@ngia.com.au, PO Box 7129 Baulkham Hills BC NSW 2153

  • Mike Mehigan (NSW) Board Member President
  • Simon Smith (NT) Board Member Vice President
  • Mark Greeves (TAS)
  • Craig Norman (SA)
  • Hamish Mitchell (VIC)
  • Colin Groom (WA)
  • Bryan Hillier (QLD)


Julie, Warren, Vivian, Paul, Chris, Mary, Fiona and the rest of us in ACT for BEES

For more information about what pesticides do not contain neonics, download the ACT for Bees ‘Protecting Bees’ flyer.



With thanks to our


  • ACT Government Environment and Planning
  • The Association of Independent Schools of the ACT (AISACT)
  • Catholic Education Office (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn)
  • Education and Training Directorate
  • ACT Government