A third of UK bee colonies were lost in just two years. We are fighting to ban neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide first used in the mid 1990s, exactly the time mass bee disappearances began

We are deeply worried about the dramatic loss of bees across the western world. The causes are multiple, but intensive farming and the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, like Gaucho and Poncho made by Bayer, are clear culprits.

Neonicotinoids work as an insecticide by blocking specific neural pathways in insects’ central nervous systems. The chemicals impair bees’ communication, homing and foraging ability, flight activity, ability to discriminate by smell, learning, and immune systems – all of which have an impact on bees' ability to survive. The genetic make up of bees make them particularly vulnerable to neonicotinoids. These animals are vital to our food systems, pollinating about a third of all foods, including nearly all fruits and pulses.

There is already enough evidence to justify an immediate ban on neonicotinoids today. But the UK government refuses to follow the lead of countries like France, Germany and Slovenia in banning them. Please sign our petition or donate to the cause.

For more details visit www.soilassociation.org/bees.aspx

The Soil Association is the UK's leading charity campaigning for planet friendly food and farming.

Friends of the Soil Association is registered by us to allow donations to be safely collected in the US and Canada.

Thanks to bee photographer Graham White

1. Ban neonicotinoid pesticides, strongly implicated in hive collapse

2. Sign our petition, already 17,000 strong

3. Expose the role big agribusiness plays in maintaining the highly profitable status quo