“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
A recent article entitled Bee protection: US in spotlight as EU bans pesticides, in the U.K.’s Guardian Environment Network should give any follower of environmental news cause for concern.
The piece begins with three interesting statistics:
- One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest.
- For much of the past 10 years, beekeepers, primarily in the United States and Europe, have been reporting annual hive losses of 30 percent or higher, substantially more than is considered normal or sustainable.
- But this winter, many U.S. beekeepers experienced losses of 40 to 50 percent or more, just as commercial bee operations prepared to transport their hives for the country’s largest pollinator event: the fertilizing of California’s almond trees.
While there is no confirmation stating that the use of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are behind the rapid decline of pollinators; the European Commission has issued a ban on the pesticide pending further review.
Here in the US, neonicotinoids are routinely used on more than 100 million acres of corn, wheat, soy and cotton. The Environmental Protection Agency is facing a lawsuit brought on by environmental advocacy organizations and commercial beekeepers. Apparently, they were too busy providing “conditional registrations” to speed up the approval process for chemical companies to stop and think about what effect these new chemicals would have on the environment. Has “environmental protection” become an oxymoron?
Before you shake your head and say “whatever,” consider the following…
- you eat
- the bees help make nice things like cherries and strawberries
- no bees, no cherries, no you
You can show your support for this issue by taking action. In less than a minute, you can sign a petition on any of the following sites: change.org (US) , 38degrees.org (UK), foe.org (UK), avaaz.org (EU)