This month, my blog has focused on the devastating decline of bees in our country. The important little pollinators have continued to die off in great numbers. In 2013 alone, U.S. beekeepers lost an average of 45 percent of what was left of their colonies. In Iowa, 70 percent of the bee population was too sick to survive the winter. And the nation’s hives are now producing 85 percent fewer queens.
What do all those numbers mean to you and me? Plenty. Almost one-third of the food we eat depends on bee pollination, so the ongoing colony collapse disorder means that our food supply is at risk.
Now for the good news: Congress is currently considering the “Saving America’s Pollinators Act,” which would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to suspend use of the pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoids class until their safety can be determined. (Click here for a list of products that contains them.) The EPA would also be tasked with monitoring the country’s bee population.
Want to get involved? SierraRising—an environmental advocacy voice of the Sierra Club—and Food and Water Watch—which ensures that the food, water, and fish we consume is safe, accessible, and sustainable—have teamed up to create an online petition you can sign and send to Congress along with your comments.
You can also plan this summer’s garden with bee-friendly plants in mind, like these:
- American plum
- Blanket flower
- Clasping cornflower
- Daisy fleabane
- Foxglove bearded tongue
- Golden currant
- Prairie rose
- Western yarrow