Posted 22 October 2011

Union National de l'Apiculture Francaise - 1,173,231 Signatures to Save the Bees
1,173,231 Signatures to Save the Bees – Appeal to the French Ministry of Agriculture.



UNAF PRESS RELEASE Paris le 11th October 2011

Henri Clement – President of the French Beekeepers interviewed in Paris Henri Clement – President of the French Beekeepers Union UNAF – interviewed in Paris.


French beekeepers hold mass-demonstrations in the street to say:

No! to the neonicotinoid insecticide CRUISER!

No! to neonicotinoid insecticides that kill bees!

Despite the withdrawal of the license for Syngenta’s pesticide ‘Cruiser’, by the French Council of State,  for use as a seed treatment on maize in 2008, 2009 and 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture not only continued to allow use of this product, but in June 2011 it authorized the use of Syngenta ‘Cruiser OSR’ for oilseed rape/canola.
"Cruiser" contains the active substance 'thiamethoxam", a neonicotinoid insecticide that is deadly for bees. Permitting the use of thiamethoxam as a seed-dressing for oilseed rape/ canola - on flowers visited by bees, butterflies and bumblebees, poses a grave threat to the future of all bee-colonies in France.

Populations of honeybees and wild bees continue to disappear:
The granting of these licenses is a complete disaster for our beekeeping industry, for agriculture and for wildlife and biodiversity!

That is why beekeepers have organised a day of national demonstrations against Syngenta’s pesticide ‘Cruiser’ for the day of Saturday, October 15, 2011


Demonstrations and marches by beekeepers in many regions of France:

Beekeepers protesting against Cruiser in Aquitaine At Agen with beekeepers union of the Great West: Aquitaine,
Brittany, Loire-Atlantique, ...
Gathering  point of the event: 2:30 p.m.
In front of the Hotel de la Prefecture - St. Armand Fallières - Agen
Press Contact: Auzeral Bertrand, President of the Gascon Bee - 06 89 29 48 62
“Pesticides – A Danger to Your Hetitleh and to Bees” -


At Dijon with beekeepers' unions from the Burgundy region
Franche-Comte and GDSA Côte-d'Or
Gathering  point of the event: 9:30am
In front of the Hotel de la Prefecture - Rue de la Prefecture - Dijon
Press Contact: Philippe Gaulard 06 12 47 75 16
Beekeepers protesting against Cruiser in Dijon


In Grenoble, a united demonstration of the entire beekeeping profession.
Gathering  point of the event: 2:30 p.m.
In front of the Hotel de la Prefecture - Place de Verdun - Grenoble
Press Contact: Frederic Chasson, President of the Union beekeeping - 06 61 68 91 36
“Gaucho, Regent, Cruiser –Stop the Bees Dying – No Biodiversity Without Bees!”
Beekeepers protesting against Cruiser in Grenoble


In Paris: one day earlier, on October 14, a delegation of beekeepers
with hives and smokers demonstrated outside the headquarters of pesticide company Syngenta in Guyancourt.
Friday, October 14, 2011 at 12am
1 Ave. Meadows in Guyancourt
Beekeepers protesting against Cruiser in Paris


France Leads the Way!
This spring, the government of Slovenia withdrew the market-authorization of ‘Cruiser’ (Thiamethoxam) on maize because of excess deaths of bee colonies. In late June 2011, the Italian government renewed its ban on Cruiser for the third year running, banning the use of Cruiser on maize. A few days later,  also in Italy, a study was published  of bee colony deaths in the maize-growing regions: bee-colony-deaths stood at 37.5% for the period 2007-2008 (before the ban on Cruiser); the observed mortality dropped to less than 15% for the period 2010-2011  (after the ban), whereas colony mortality is still averaging 30% in other EU countries like France, Germany and the UK.


Paris, February 18, 2011

A delegation of French citizens and beekeepers was received in the office of Minister of Agriculture as part of the International Campaign " Emergency for Bees, on  Thursday, February 17, 2011 at  2pm.

Henri Clement, President of the National Union of French Apiculture and Benjamin Gachons, Senior Avaaz campaigner, handed an international petition containing 1,173,231 signatures – (more than 200 000 signatures from France alone) - calling for the withdrawal of systemic neurotoxic pesticides and neonicotinoids.

The Department of Agriculture has taken note of this action on the part of French citizens and the beekeeping profession, and their grave concern over the causes of bee deaths, both in France and around the world, as well as the implications for both our food security and for the preservation of wildlife and biodiversity.

The delegation also demanded that any research programs and risk assessments commissioned by the Ministry should be  truly independent, in order to save the bees and protect our wildlife.

"The independence of expertise within the French national agency (l’ANSES)  and the European Agency  in charge of risk assessment  (EASA) is absolutely essential. This also raises the question of how much confidence that citizens are able to place in the public authorities. "reaffirmed Henri Clement.

Remember that recent years have seen a sharp and worrying decline in populations of bees and other pollinating insects. Some bee species are already extinct and other endangered species in the United States have been reduced to less than 4% of their initial strength.

By a ruling of February 16, 2011, the French Council of State revoked the market authorizations for Syngenta's CRUISER ® for 2008 and 2009 and reserved its decision on the CRUISER 350.

In effect, by a crude artifice, the illegal pesticide CRUISER was replaced in 2010 by CRUISER 350 as a result of a decision to authorize the placing on the market for a one year by Agriculture Minister Bruno Lemaireand renewed in 2011. This ‘replacement’ pesticide is "absolutely identical" to the one already banned, according to the National Hetitleh Security Agency, for which UNAF also filed application for Council of State.

Both Henri Clement, President of the National Union of French Apiculture and Benjamin Gachons, Senior Avaaz campaigns director,  will remain very vigilant in the coming weeks, demanding concrete answers from the Minister of Agriculture in response to the requests of this delegation.


UNAF - Founded in 1946, the National Union of French Apiculture includes hundreds of departmental and city unions overseas representing over 22,000 be seven largest European ekeepers.
UNAF is co-founder of the European Beekeeping Commission which brought together all seven of the largest European beekeeping Unions. It supports the "Network Beekeeping and Development" for a global Beekeeping solidarity.

UNAF campaigns vigorously against the neurotoxic insecticides to safeguard French beekeeping. It has already secured four  victories in the French Council of State that have contributed to withdrawal of pesticidesL 1999 of Gaucho ® (Imidacloprid) on sunflowers,then in 2004 the use of Gaucho ® Maize  (Imidacloprid) and REGENT ® (Fipronil) on all crops UNAF hopes to obtain the cancellation of the licensing  of CRUISER ® in 2011
For more information, see

Avaaz - which means "voice" in many languages ​​- was launched in January 2007 with a simple democratic mission: bring together the citizens of all nations to bridge the gap between the world we have and the world wanted by the majority everywhere. Avaaz is the most great movement of rural citizens in the world, with over 7 million members from all countries in the world, including more than 850,000 in France.
For more information, visit

Anne Henriot
Attachée de presse
04 99 61 29 90
06 07 03 17 56
Email: Anne Henriot