More than a few are beginning to take part in an effort to stop honey bee population decline. The federal government has stepped up and wants to assist in stopping the declining honey bee populations. They hope to accomplish this by making more federal land available to these flying insects. They believe that this, in addition to more money for research and less pesticide use, will be the answer.
Scientists say that bees are important in the pollination of many farm crops. They state that declining nutrition, mites, disease and pesticides are harming the bee population. The Feds plan a strategy that calls on everyone to do what they can to benefit the bees. Bees provide over $15 million in value to the U.S. economy, according to White House science adviser, John Holdren.
“Pollinators are struggling,” Holdren stated. Federal surveys showed that honey bee keepers lost 40% of their colonies last year and current expectations for the future are grim unless action is taken to support honey bee population expansion.
The plan is to restore seven million acres for bee habitation over the next five years. Agencies will have to find ways to grow plants on federal lands that bees prefer. Scientists have worries that large land tracts that only grow one crop have hurt bee nutrition. The agencies involved are the Department of the Interior, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Transportation. They all will have to plant bee-friendly plants on their properties to assist in honey bee population increase.
Check out a time lapse of the first 21 days of a bee’s life in 60 seconds…
“Here, we can do a lot for bees, and other pollinators,” said University of Maryland entomology Professor Dennis vanEnglesdorp, who leads bee studies, and noted the large loss in the bee population. “This, I think, is something to get excited and hopeful about. There is really only one hope for bees, and it is to make sure they spend a good part of the year in safe, healthy environments. The apparent scarcity of these areas is what’s worrying us.”
“From my perspective, it’s a wake-up call,” Jerry Bromenshenk wrote in an email. “Pollinators need safe havens, with adequate quantities of high-quality resources for food and habitat, relatively free from toxic chemicals, and that includes pollutants as well as pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.”
The Feds will be spending $82.5 million on bee research in the next year. That is an increase of $34 million over this year. Hopefully bee research isn’t all they’ll be doing, as action is needed urgently to address the dwindling bee populations.
Lessening the effect of pesticides on bees is a priority for the federal government, as both bee pollination and insect control are essential to the success of U.S. farming and agriculture. Our efforts now to stop honey bee population decline is sure to pay off in the future.