Italian Beekeepers On Hunger Strike Over Neonicotinoids

1st Aug 2011

Italian beekeepers have gone on hunger strike over neonicotinoids. They want to get the neonicotinoids banned in Italy. They have also launched a petition and are appealing for signatures from all over the world.

The petition is in Italian - for the petition (opens new window) click here (Update:  the petition is no longer functioning).

If you wish to add your name to the petition, click 'Invia' to send.

"... In 2004 we are no longer able to pass the winter as families were depopulated, the point of being forced to buy back about sixty, full of the 10 hives in order to address the bee season 2005, and replenish the hives. This year we find ourselves in a situation even worse: we have seen that in the period from July to August the decline was drastic, 80%, and we're taking a meeting to save at least exaggerated groped for some old strain of bees more resistant to Varroa ... "

With this letter, September 7, 2005, denounced for the first time, the various administrators in our region, the critical situation of our business.

We arrived at 2011 and nothing has changed. Every year the same problem as our company is located in one of the most renowned grape growing areas of Asti, on the edge of the Parco Naturale di Rocchetta Tanaro. The bee die-off caused by the treatment "required" for flavescence golden vines, among other treatments that have not yet solved the problem. Neonicotinoid pesticides based sprayed even once that are lethal to bees. And this has been confirmed: in fact these products were also used for seed treatment of corn and have been banned for some years.

To date more than 50 different products based on neonicotinoids were entered in the register of the Ministry of Health (many are even allowed to "IPM") for use on the main fruit and vegetable crops (tomato, eggplant, peppers, cucumber, squash, melon, watermelon, cabbage inflorescence, leaf, head, kohlrabi, thistle, parsley, basil, rosemary, chervil, chives, lettuces and other salads, bean, beans, peas, leek, onion, artichoke, strawberry , potato, wheat, barley, alfalfa, tobacco, olive, apple, pear, peach, plum, cherry, almond, apricot, orange, tangerine, mandarin, lemon, grapefruit, grapes) for floriculture and other uses side ( moth, fly, flea), and not worry about their serious toxicity even at sublethal doses on insects such as bees.

A very serious as major scientific studies have already tested the toxicity levels in both acute and chronic low doses.

For the record bees crucial contribution to the pollination of over 225,000 plant species, 70% of those of interest in agriculture, 90% of fruit, vegetables, etc..The loss of bees is not only directly affects the interests of beekeepers, but the signal of alarm for the consequences unimaginable environmental damage, as well illustrates the Dutch toxicologist Tennekes in his latest work: "The systemic insecticides: A disaster in the making" (The systemic insecticides: a disaster in preparation).

In our small, the consequences are huge for our company: we produce Apitherapy products, royal jelly, queen embryos, pandapi, pollen, comb honey and analysis conducted (ASL and a private laboratory), we have evidence that the loss of bee population and loss of self-defense capabilities of the remaining bees, are caused by the neonicotinoids.

Add to this the discovery of the contamination of some products of the hive with these insecticides.

This is unacceptable for us, do not feel to hide the problem and remain silent in the face of evidence.If you do not change the rules of use of these insecticides quickly we quit the company with the loss of certain of our assets as collateral for the loan are no longer honored because of falling revenue.And close with a portfolio of orders that would allow us to meet every commitment and also creating job opportunities.

For this reason we decided to expose ourselves and personal activities, including supporting the work of Francesco Panella, president of the Italian National Beekeepers Association (UNAAPI), which for years has been fighting for the same problem, at regional, national and European level.Then we will begin a hunger strike July 4, 2011, with a garrison to the bitter end in Turin, Regione Piemonte before the United States, as long as the authorities do not subscribe serious guarantees to withdraw from the market in question insecticides.

For more info on the website / bastaveleni publish "live" updates.


The authorization of use of neonicotinoids should be permanently revoked, for all uses, not just for the tanning of corn!

Be used at any time, in any form, these insecticides are systemic in the plant sap and bees have endless possibilities for lick in touch through nectar, pollen and the exudation of the plant, for honeydew, guttazione or dew. We need to make at least withdraw these neonicotinoids have already registered, as well as prevent new registrations. The new rules also require it, but you do not really know where it is applied.

We ask the President of Regione Piemonte, the lawyer. Roberto Cota, to apply the law to safeguard the local heritage such as beekeeping prohibiting use of these systemic insecticides, appealing to the principle of precaution, to protect the environment, heritage insect pollinators pollinators like bees and even human health: in this respect there is no scientific evidence confirming that mammals suffer damage from the ingestion of chronic small doses.

We hope that you face in promoting the Conference of State so that the revocation of this need is all over the country, as well as at the European Community.

There are all legal instruments to do so immediately.

We decided to sacrifice our job to start a hunger strike because we have several alternatives: to continue to work seeing bees succumbing in spasms due to intoxication by poison, knowing that this is entered in the hive and contaminate the product, is no longer possible for us. For some years we are no longer able to meet orders and risk of closing. The alternative is to stop working in the place which was a haven for bees, rich in biodiversity, sell our property (the buyer even where the bees are left?) And emigrate to a place where they can work.All this seems terribly wrong and we can not understand how they can be more important than the interests of those who produce these products (there are many alternatives) over the interests of those who promote environmental protection and health of those living in the area.

We decided to say enough and groped this last paper.

We appeal to all people who care about nature, who want to save the bees, who want to change this pattern of development based only on the immediate profit, without any attention to the damage caused to the environment and health, to those who want a agriculture that produces healthy foods instead of toxic waste. Help us to achieve the goal of this battle.

On site / bastaveleni you will find information on the subject: act independently, open deans, flyers, spread via the Internet. It will achieve this dream, but sometimes dreams do come true!

We also need financial assistance and those who want to support us so he can use a simple bulletin Postal Account by paying to the account No 1000095776 payable to Friends of the Farm. Thank you in advance all those who at least will turn this call.

Marisa Valente 3343403464
Renato Bologna 3208310702

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