Great news for bees! French lawmakers recently approved plans to place a total ban on some of the most widely used pesticides to help protect declining bee populations. While the European Union (EU) recently limited the use of neonicotinoid chemicals, which are responsible for the decline in bee populations, France is going beyond the EU’s call by completely eliminating these chemicals from the crop fields.
Neonicotinoid pesticides are so effective because they target insect’s nervous systems, unfortunately, they harm bees just as readily as they do “pests” that hinder crop yields. It is widely believed that these chemicals are responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder as bees who are exposed to neonicotinoids lose their ability to discern their surroundings and experience memory loss. These pesticides are also thought to damage the immune systems of bees, rendering them especially susceptible to disease. This has resulted in a global plunge in bee populations. In the past few decades alone, the U.S. bee population has declined steadily by 30 percent each year.
This legislation is crucial considering bees play a critical role in our environment, agriculture, and overall health. Bees are responsible for pollinating around 100 different human food crops which provide around 90 percent of the world’s nutrition! Without bees, we’d no longer have broccoli, asparagus, cantaloupes, cucumbers, pumpkins, blueberries, watermelons, almonds, apples, cranberries, and cherries … just to name a few.
While the bill will not go into effect until September 2018, and is pending approval from the French Senate, this news certainly signals a move in the right direction. It’s imperative that the U.S. follow France’s lead, or we might lose the bees forever. Sauvez les abeilles!
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