Bee-blight confronts EPA

BeeBlightThe bee-blight came face-to-face with the Environmental Protection Agency recently when a truck loaded with nearly 3 million dead bees delivered the bodies to EPA headquarters.

The purpose of this ‘special delivery’ was to provide a microscopic example of the massive declines of bee populations.

Forty percent of U.S. beehives die annually—a $2 billion loss to each year’s economy.

Farmers, food advocates and beekeepers blame a large part of this bee-blight on a particularly deadly and widely used class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

The EPA half-heartedly investigated the die-offs and their causes a couple of years ago, yet have failed to continue the damaging early assessments of the poisonous pesticides, critics say.

Anna Aurilio, director of the Washington DC office of Environmental America, believes the links are glaringly obvious and that the EPA should move quickly to stop use of these pesticides.

Bee advocates have met continuously with members of Congress, EPA officials, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) officials, and have delivered letters from over 200 businesses and organizations urging action against bee-killing pesticides.

In addition, The Keep the Bees Alive organization has held rallies in several states to help raise awareness of how much trouble we are all in due to the continuing decimation of the king of  pollinators.

The bee-blight is probably low on the priority list of ‘important’ news in this chaotic year. But in spite of the world’s many problems that need to be addressed, the continuing loss of bees should rank among the top.

So…. why should we be so concerned about the bee-blight?

A Fox News article highlighted the following 10 crops that would disappear without honeybees and their pollinator assistants such as bats, birds and butterflies.

How would you like to do without apples, almonds, blueberries, cherries, avocados, cucumbers, onions, grapefruit, oranges and pumpkins (the produce featured in Fox News)?

According to Wikipedia, in addition to those crops listed by Fox News, crops pollinated wholly or in part by bees include: broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, beets, potatoes, carrots, celery, cabbage, peppers, coconuts, coffee, all citrus, all berries, alfalfa, apricots, peppers, grapes, okra, eggplant, beets and coffee.

At least $15 billion worth of crops are pollinated annually by bees and their helpers in the U.S. alone.

Those economic losses may not be on the radar of many people in modern civilization, beset with their own health and financial problems, and occupied with subjects far from the fields.

But food concerns every one of us. As bees dwindle from pesticide poisoning, the price of food goes up and the ability to provide food and quality supplements from those foods becomes more difficult.

Pesticide use, including bee-killing neonicotinoids, increases annually.

The bee-blight has continued for over a decade. How long will it take the government agency charged with protecting the environment to challenge Big Pharma and take definitive action?

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