Once again, in Spain, pesticide sprayings are currently being carried out on roadside ditches, despite the fact that this is precisely the time when nature is abloom and bees and other pollinators are very active.
The European Citizens' Initiative "Save Bees and Farmers!" views this as a clear attack against people’s health, the environment and the economy, and joins those organizations in Spain (specifically the SOS biodiversidad SOS polinizadores Platform, which is part of the ECI alliance1) that are demanding a complete ban on pesticides toxic to pollinators.
This platform recently published a manifesto demanding, among other things, a ban without exceptions of all aerial spraying (light aircrafts, drones, etc.) and all spraying on roadside ditches. In the document they request that, while this is approved, there is an easy access to the information on authorized pesticides uses (the law requires a public hearing and an Aerial Applications Registry, specifically the article 29 of the Royal Decree 1311/2012, September 14th, which establishes the framework to achieve a sustainable use of plant protection products).
Many of the pesticides currently used in industrial agriculture are a huge threat to our health and the environment, as well as an economical one for sectors such as beekeeping. This is why, among others, many beekeeping associations have joined the European Citizens' Initiative to urge the European Commission to set legal acts aimed at phasing out synthetic pesticides in EU agriculture by 80% by 2030, starting with the most hazardous, to become free of synthetic pesticides by 2035, and to restore biodiversity while supporting farmers in the transition.
1 SOS biodiversidad SOS polinizadores Platform was established last year by different citizens as well as environmental, consumer and beekeeping organizations, with the aim of joining forces to demand a ban on pesticides that are toxic for bees and other pollinators.