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The Oregonian: Bee supporters swarm Portland Farmers Market to raise awareness about die-offs
Author: Susannah L. Bodman
Posted: August 18, 2014

Read the original story in The Oregonian here.

You might have heard the buzz: Saturday marked National Honey Bee Day.

And in Portland, that meant a swarm of bee-costume-bedecked apian aficionados descended on Portland Farmers Market on the Portland State University campus Saturday morning to stage a bee die-in.

The event, dubbed Swarm Portland, aimed to draw attention to Oregon's bee die-offs, which have been linked to pesticides, starvation and other factors.

Organizer Susan Laarman said she also hoped to "bring people together to get more involved in helping bees in coming months."

Two events she mentioned were the expected October release of a report by Gov. John Kitzhaber's task force on pollinator health and the November vote on a ballot initiative to label genetically engineered food.

"We want to label GMOs, so shoppers have more info and can choose to not support industrial farming methods that use too many pesticides," Laarman said.

In a press release for the Saturday event, Portlanders were urged to tell the governor's task force to pass a law in the next legislative session to stop the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that may be linked to bee die-offs.

In addition to Saturday's die-in, Swarm Portland also featured a bike ride for bees and a "Plan Bee" picnic display, which showed what the contents of two picnics would look like with and without the pollinating help of bees.