BEE Protective - Saving American Bees
Over the last decade, the world has witnessed an alarming trend that – if continued – could lead to a major food crisis in the United States and elsewhere on the planet. In short, the bees are disappearing. While this does not sound like a matter of utmost urgency, the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), as the phenomenon has come to be known, is indeed a matter of national and international security.
Crops like apples, strawberries, almonds, or oranges all rely on bees for insemination. In fact, according to UNEP, bees pollinate 70 of the 100 most popular world crops that deliver 90% of our food. In North America alone, apiculture contributes to the pollination of 95 kinds of crops. The pollinating services provided by the bees are thus essential for agriculture, which could not sustain itself without the work of natural pollinators. In simple terms, without bees, there would be no food.
This is why Beyond Pesticides and the Center for Food Safety teamed up to launch BEE Protective – a nationwide education campaign on the crucial role of bees and on the growing problem of their mysterious disappearance.
Various explanations for CCD exist, including electromagnetic radiation, fungi, viruses, mites, the use of antibiotics, or a combination of those. While the cause of CCD has been widely debated, the focus of the discussion has recently shifted to certain pesticides, most recently neonicotinoids, in some cases scientifically proven to cause harm to bees. Though the effects are many, some of them include diminishing smell and foraging patterns, and disruptions of reproductive cycles.
Moreover, the organizations behind BEE Protective, along with groups of environmentalists and beekeepers, have recently filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court against the EPA, which they accuse of not adhering to its own rules on approving pesticides for widespread agricultural use. Specifically, the controversial chemicals that have been admitted by the EPA and that have been known to cause harm to bees are clothianidin and thiamethoxam. In the case of the former, the EPA’s 2003 approval was contingent on subsequent studies on the substance’s impact on bees – studies that were never carried out or reported.
The BEE Protective website offers a wealth of resources, including education materials, advocacy tools, information on creating bee-friendly habitats, regulatory materials and resolutions, research articles, and more.
Check out our media gallery on various nonprofits engaged in the effort to protect American bees as well as identifying and preventing the causes of CCD.