President Obama is knocking it out of the park these days! First curbing carbon emissions, then creating a massive marine reserve, and now he is stepping up and creating the Pollinator Health Task Force Team, to help protect honey bees. A President with eyes on the future (how refreshing!).
In a statement on the decision, President Obama said, “The problem [with declining honey bee populations] is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.”
Honey bees are ESSENTIAL to our nation’s food supply, responsible for pollinating 90 percent of the crops grown in North America. It has been said many times, but to reiterate: no bees, no food. Over the past few years, honey bees have been in a state of rapid decline due to exposure to pesticides, mite infestation and lack of genetic diversity.
The announcement released by The White House, stated that the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are teaming up to help find solutions to our growing bee problem. In addition, $50 million has been alotted to his proposed 2015 budget to fund research on honey bees and to support honey bee conservation organizations.
While the plans do not include measures to ban the use of neonicitinoids across the board, a step many environmentalists contend is necessary for change, as more research develops this may naturally become the next logical step for the President to take. We know that pesticides are by far the largest threat to honey bees, however, this is a large and complex problem to tackle and the President intends to expend the needed funds and research to find the most effective solutions.
Image source: Olbertz/Wikimedia Commons