The Obama administration launches a new initiative of saving bees by feeding them better. Millions of dollars will be spent in the new federal project designed to overturn the unfortunate decline of honeybees and monarch butterfly populations in America.
The money will go into transforming millions of acres of federal land into becoming more bee-friendly. In order to do so, the government will have to fund extensive research that will help scientists reduce the use of pesticides.
It might not sound like much, but planting various types of landscape on the sides of highways, on the land of federal housing projects and basically anywhere else, makes a huge improvement according to several bee scientists.
Nowadays, most of the American landscape is cement and highways, and even where there are some green spots, people have turned them in artificial lawns and corns that keep the pollinators starving due to lack of foraging areas.
May Berenbaum, entomologist at the University of Illinois, is absolutely thrilled about the proposal, as he says the issue of the food-deprived bees was in desperate need of addressing.
There are, however, several environmental activists are still complaining about the Obama administration’s bee plan, as they say it is no enough to save the hives. They have been campaigning for the complete ban on a highly criticized class of pesticide for some time now.
And bee scientists seem to agree; but it’s not just pesticides that hurt the bee populations – vital in the process of pollinating crops – it’s rather a combination of mites, gradually less food, disease and pesticides.
According to John Holdren, a White House science adviser, bees contribute with roughly $15 billion to the U.S. economy, so the administrations is issuing a nationwide call to action – officials, lawmakers and citizens alike – in order to prevent and reverse the drastic reduction of the bee population.
Holdren’s recent blog post discussed the struggle pollinators are currently facing. Quoting from an updated federal survey, he explained that just last year, beekeepers suffered a dramatic loss of more than 40 percent of their colonies.
Surviving hives needed to be separated in order to ensure they will although they will later breed again. But it’s not just bees that are in danger; in the past 20 years, monarch butterflies migrating during winter in Mexico’s forests have been decimated – only 10 percent have survived.
Mexico and the U.S. government are working together in creating a better habitat for both butterflies and bees in the southern part of Mexico. Seven million acres of land will be transformed to become proper bee habitats during the next 5 years.
Image Source: Center For Food Safety