It was only a year ago that spring brought the wonderful lazy sound of bees browsing the morning’s display of catmint and dandelions.
This year, with a wet cold spring, only a few made it to the blooming of the catmint, and fewer yet remain. We had at least one late freeze and a wet spring that not only killed the early spring blossoms, but the overcast skies kept flowers from producing nectar. So I’m missing our bees! And with that I’ve turned my thoughts again to the phenomenon of bee colony collapse.
Factors such as food availability, mite infestation, and pesticides namely Neonicotinoids are all putting pressure on both commercial bee and natural colonies. It would only seem wise that we should remove one of these factors if its in our power.
I think its time I do my part to try to help these little guys, so feared, but so helpful. So many food products depend on pollinators for fruit and seed production you would think agriculture would also be talking about the pressure the bee’s decline has put on the industry, but a recent op-ed by Maurice Hladik a one time farmer, says the opposite is true in a recent Ag Weekly news site. Yet business news talks to the cost of $2 billion dollars of bee loss is now costing the farmer and eventually the consumer.
Last year the EPA denied the petition by beekeepers to suspend the registration of Clothianidan, a neonicotinoid, citing lack of evidence of the direct relationship between the use of the pesticide and bee colony decline. See Clothianidan Registration Status.
To keep the issue of bee colonies and their value in the public’s collective conscious, I started a petition to ask the White House to pressure the EPA to ban neonicotinoids. I don’t expect the White House to be successful but maybe the president talking about the issue will get some funding for studying the pesticides’ use. If this goes nowhere so bee it. I will find another way to help bees, by planting more bee friendly nectarific plants.
To do your part … go to http://wh.gov/lclgv and sign the petition.