Bees are dying off at an unsustainable rate. Each season, it is estimated that we’re losing between 30-40% of all bee colonies each year. Bees play an extremely important role in pollinating one out of every 3 bites of food, pollinating about 70% of the foods we eat and add around $15 billion in value to U.S. Agriculture. The foods affected are everything from apples to broccoli to coffee and chocolate. Further, bees pollinate alfalfa, one of the main crops that our dairy cows feed on. So, without bees we wouldn’t have our morning cup of joe or ice cream strolls on the boardwalk.
There are many reasons for the dramatic drop in bee colony population, including global warming and over development, but one of the main problems affecting bees is their exposure to a new class of pesticides called neonicotinoids (neonics). A recent study found that half the total decline in wild bees is due to neonics.
Although lot needs to be done to stabilize bee populations in the long term, we know that in the short-term, we need to get neonics off the market. The EU has already put a moratorium on these harmful pesticides, and time for the US to take action too. This won’t be easy, as large chemical companies like Dow and Bayer, have large investments in this chemical and are fighting to increase its use.
We’re calling on EPA administrator Gina McCarthy to take action by:
- Stopping new neonics from being approved,
- Speeding up the testing of neonics on the market,
- And putting a moratorium on all neonics until testing is complete.