BEEKEEPERS, consumer advocates, and environmental groups are set to gather outside nine of Europe's agriculture ministries this Thursday to hand in a petition signed by over 220,000 people demanding that the European Commission make pesticide testing 'bee-friendly'.

The protests are scheduled for London, Dublin, Riga in Latvia, Berlin in Germany, Paris in France, The Hague in the Netherlands, Bucharest in Romania,

Sofia in Bulgaria, and Rome in Italy.

On May 20, the EC’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed is due to vote to determine pesticide testing standards. Protest organisers said: "If that Committee fails to ban all three bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides, beekeepers and environmental activists fear that new bee-killing pesticides will flood the market, rendering last year’s much-celebrated neonic ban ineffective."