Recent studies have shown that the honeybees’ population is in decline, with beekeepers reporting the loss of about 40 percent of their hives last year. This is extremely alarming because the stakes are high, given the fact that the pollination these insects make possible produce % 15 million worth crops every year (especially almonds, avocados, apples and cherries crops), according to John Holdren, a White House science adviser.
The studies have revealed that beekeepers have started to report losses in their bees population in the summer as well, which is incredibly worrying because until now, they would mostly die during the cold seasons. However, due to the parasites, genetics and poor nutrition caused by the use of dangerous pesticides (neonicotinoids – which seem to cause addiction), these useful creatures are massively dying off and the government has decided to take action.
Their plans include boosting the population of monarch butterflies as well. The population of monarch butterflies was reported to have declined by 90 percent within the last twenty years. The Government aim to do so by restoring about 7 million acres of land by 2020. This land will be used as a habitat safe for pollination. Federal agencies will have to grow plants that are good for bees and make sure they are not contaminated with pesticides. This will be possible by investing quite a lot of money into research focusing on bees, pesticides and what impact these have on the targeted insects. Another goal is to educate the general public both regarding the importance of butterflies and honeybees and the use of pesticides in their own gardens and private properties. More exactly, $ 82 million will be spent on the initiatives that could help save honeybees.
The Environmental Protection Agency has already imposed restrictions on the use of harmful pesticides, to give them time to analyze just how dangerous the chemicals from these substances are. However, they were criticized for not removing any pesticides from the market. The companies that produce the pesticides rejected all allegations, saying that their chemicals are not dangerous to bees. Nevertheless, some of them, such as the neonicotinoid-based pesticides have been banned in Europe.
A lot of research needs to be done to establish how to meet the needs of both agriculture, which still needs pesticides, and bees, which can only survive in a less polluted environment.
The report related to the government’s plans was issued on Tuesday, the 19th of May 2015.
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