Let’s assume we all love bees. We all love food, right? Ok, then.
You know who else loves food? Obama. Here is the May 2015 formal document that explains the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.
And you know who else loves food? Seattle. Here is The Common Acre, an amazing nonprofit I work with to raise pollinator awareness in Seattle. The Common Acre created an art exhibit about bees that was installed at SEATAC airport and had over 1.2 MILLION viewers. They also reclaimed barren airport land for pollinators and are regrowing and resettling it with colonies, and have been asked by the City of Seattle to lead the charge to make Seattle an official “Bee City.”
These are all good things. Like other animal groups in our current “Sixth Extinction,” bees are dying off in droves. Here is an image that I find chilling (please note chocolate on this image):
All joking aside, this is terrible, and far from the extent of everything bees pollinate.
The Obama plan proposes to:
- Reduce honey bee colony losses during winter (overwintering mortality) to no more than 15% within 10 years.
- Restore 7 million acres (2.8 million hectares) of bee habitat in the next five years.
- Spend $82.5 million on honeybee research in the upcoming budget year, up $34 million from now.
- Task the Environmental Protection Agency to step up studies into the safety of widely used neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been temporarily banned in Europe.
- And the EPA will not approve new types of uses of the pesticides until more study is done, if then, the report said.
Biggest criticism of the plan (besides taxpayer dollars, but let’s assume this plan is a good thing. Oh, but you should know that bees provide more than $15 billion in value to the U.S. economy) is that it doesn’t eliminate the pesticides that already exist and are killing the bees. (And it’s not just bees that are dying, it’s pollinating monarch butterflies, too, FYI.) But we have to start somewhere. Let’s just hope it’s in time…for all of us…and chocolate and watermelon…and flowers and chocolate…and almonds and chocolate…and chocolate and cabbage…but really more chocolate…