Carol Miller Nov 10/2014
In late October, Bell Nursery owner Gary Mangum showed a room of his peers a video he and a team of allies had created on the topic of neonicotinoids.
But first, he showed a video of a neonicotinoid protest at a local Home Depot. A group organized by Friends Of The Earth dressed in bee costumes to voice their concern about how neonicotinoids kill bees. In the video, a woman asked a guy pulling a wagon and wearing an elaborate costume (think a fuzzy, yellow and black fez with antennae and a bulbous, fuzzy torso) about what he was protesting. She wasn’t baiting him, just asking straight forward questions. He answered defensively, accusing her of working for Home Depot or a chemical company. She told him she didn’t, that she was just curious. He started on a rant filled with so many errors, it was obvious this guy was reacting emotionally to the call to protest without any real understanding of the issue.
And it turned out he was the spokesperson for the protest.
The second video is one Mangum, AmericanHort and other allies are putting together for the industry. It reviews the current scientific evidence of bee die-offs and the impact of pesticides in general and neonicotinoids specifically.
Something struck me as I watched those two videos. In the first, the protesters were full of passion. Yes, they looked silly in their bee costumes and the leader came off as an idiot, but they were all sincere. In the second, it was a series of fact-based scientific types discussing bee health, how neonicotinoids work and so on. Not a scrap of passion was evident.