If you see a bunch of people dressed as bees buzzing around the Ann Arbor Farmers Market Saturday, it's not your imagination.
It's part of a nation-wide protest to raise awareness of pesticides that are killing bees in alarming numbers. Protest organizer Kristen Jones says the farmers market was a logical choice for the demonstration "because a lot of the farmers there are unknowingly helping cause the problem because of the pesticides that they continue to use."
Pesticides containing nicotinoids are lethal to bees, and bees are responsible for pollinating two-thirds of our food crops. Ypsilanti beekeeper Lisa Bashert says bees are kind of an agricultural "canary in the coal mine".
"The way that we're conducting our agriculture is just not sustainable," Bashert says. "We can't keep doing it, because it's so detrimental to the soil, and the bees, and because we have to use all these pesticides and so forth."
A mock funeral for bees killed by pesticides takes place tomorrow at noon at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, where information on what the average person can do to help solve the problem will be handed out.