At 8am, Tuesday 1st July, David Cameron was meeting his cabinet to decide whether or not to grant pesticide manufacturers Syngenta permission to plant 186,000ha of neonicotinoid treated Oil Seed Rape this Autumn. The request by Syngenta was made last week, just days after the release of a report compiled by 29 scientists which concluded from the evidence of 800 studies that there are clear connections between neonicotinoid use and the declining health of bee colonies. Prior to the ‘swarm’, on Monday 30th June a petition boasting over 200,000 signatures was handed in to No.10 set to land on David Camerons’ desk before the meeting took place showing strong public support for a rejection of Syngentas’ bid.
MPs arrived to this mornings meeting amidst chants of “David Cameron, just say no – tell Syngenta where to go!”, “What do we want? Bees! When do we want them? Forever!” and “All we are saying, is give bees a chance!” from members of the public wearing dazzling bee costumes who arrived to show their support for Britain’s Bees. At one point, Shadow Environment Minister Barry Gardiner MP could be seen getting involved with the chants. David Cameron, Vince Cable, Grant Shapps, William Hague and many more were targeted, yet unfortunately Environment Minister Owen Paterson was nowhere to be seen. 38 Degrees documented that “As David Cameron walked up and waved, the crowd literally swarmed on Downing Street chanting “save our bees!” and chased him into the meeting with a rousing chorus of chants.”
EJF, alongside other members of the Bee Coalition, strongly urge the government to reject Syngentas bid to apply bee-harming pesticides to UK crops. Watch this space to see what happens next.