DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado lawmakers will go back into session in just a little over a month and they are already getting pressed to pass certain legislation. One of those issues is about bees.

You do not usually think of bees when it is near freezing outside, but for one group, the insects are top of mind as they call on lawmakers to protect them.

“We need bees. Especially when we rely on them for 90% of wild plants, 75% of all food crops,” said Natalie Woodland of Environment Colorado.

A group of environmentalists and students from the University of Colorado Boulder braved the cold temps to hand-deliver thousands of petitions to the governor’s office Wednesday.

“Over a thousand petitions since August and 141 business, farmer, beekeeper and health expert sign-ons in addition to previous support we’ve received over the last few years of over 22,000 petitions,” Woodland said about the nearly 24,000 petitions the group handed over.

Pesticide Applicator Act up for review in Colorado

They said a big reason they are at the Capitol was that a measure, called the Pesticide Applicator Act, is up for review this year. They want lawmakers to consider ending the consumer sale of pesticides known as neonics, which they say is contributing to the decline of bees.

“Homeowners and people who don’t necessarily have the training to use pesticides don’t necessarily read the labels, so they are not using them maybe in the right way that they should be, or they are overusing them. And that would be one of the reasons to reduce the access,” said Joyce Kennedy of the People and Pollinators Action Network.

Similar efforts have been presented at the Capitol as recently as this past year but have failed to make it out. With new lawmakers coming and the chambers bluer than ever before, bee enthusiasts are optimistic about the outcome.

“There is a lot of recognition I think across the state about just how important pollinators are to our way of life, to the beautiful state we have, to our economy, to our agriculture, to our food systems and to human health as well. I think those sorts of issues are raising up and becoming more of a focal point, and that’s a good thing,” Kennedy said.

Advocates said they want to educate the public on the importance of bees in the meantime.