It's called Colony Collapse Disorder: the sudden death of entire bee populations, in a grisly phenomenon that threatens not only humanity's food supply, but entire ecosystems. The full science is still emerging about what causes this ghastly buzzkill. But one thing is increasingly clear: soaking plant seeds in ultrapowerful insecticides known as "neonicotinoids"... doesn't help. These insecticides are a business worth billions a year.
But last week, somehow, the insecticide lobby lost a huge battle, as a crucial vote in the European Union paved the way for a two-year Europe-wide ban. On this show, for the first time anywhere, you can hear the inside story of how it happened: how an alliance of beekepers, scientists, green groups... and, crucially, more than 2.6 million citizens acting through the global campaigning group Avaaz.org waged a brilliant, desperate campaign to keep the bees alive.
Iain Keith ran Avaaz's campaign. Get your epi-pen ready: you're about to know the sting of bee movement.
Read aaaaall about colony collapse disorder
The United States Department of Agriculture's report on honey bee health
Photos from a petition drop from Avaaz.org: Save the Bees!