By julia heimberger
Many car drivers have certainly noticed how few insects stick to their windshields after an evening drive. A good ten years ago, you had to scrape the windshield clean at the gas station after every long drive. Today, a car wash at the end of the summer is enough, explains felix eder.
Together with 18-year-old luis fuchs, the 63-year-old will be looking after the supporters of the petition for a referendum on friday afternoon. He is concerned that the bees, bumblebees and butterflies, and with them the birds, do not disappear permanently from bavaria. In order to achieve this long-term goal, the odp wanted to tighten up bavaria’s nature conservation law with a petition for a referendum.
Studies show that over 75 percent of flying insects in protected areas have disappeared in the last 27 years. Due to food shortages, there has been a loss of over twelve million breeding pairs of birds in the federal republic, according to the nature conservation association of germany.
Pesticides to blame for species extinction
Conventional agriculture, with its massive use of pesticides, manure, narrow crop rotations and improper mowing of meadows, is believed to be the cause of this rapid insect death. Because germany is one of the european union leaders in pesticide use: about 15,000 tons of herbicides and nearly 1,000 tons of insecticides are sprayed on german fields every year. This includes glyphosate, which also destroys all other herbs and thus deprives insects of food sources.
"And above all, there are now only three main crops: wheat, rapeseed and corn. And a little bit of potatoes, feed pits, and that’s it.", felix eder is angry.
In order to stir up the citizens and make them aware of the urgent need for action, the odp has equipped an old fire department bus as a bee rescue vehicle. Volunteers will now be driving around bavaria for four weeks with this sign and approaching passers-by in the pedestrian zones.
The success of the campaign’s wake-up call can be seen in the many passers-by who stop, have a short chat with the two environmental activists and usually sign the petition as well.
Many signatures in forchheim
In forchheim, a good 100 people were already there by noon on friday, estimates luis fuchs. A good 90 percent also signed the petition, and some even came to the city especially to do so. "We have never had such a good response to a referendum before," says felix eder, felix eder is pleased.
Brigitte munster from schweinfurt is in forchheim on a family visit and has registered straight away. She is happy to do this, but still has some doubts about success.
Gabi schlicht-dippold from forchheim, who has transformed her garden into a flower meadow with bee feed, is more optimistic. She is confident: "I hope that it will work and that the petition will be successful."