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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

this is *not* about the availability of honey....

"The President’s Task Force should listen to the body of science that links pesticides to bee harm and bee declines," stated letter signatory Jim Frazier, PhD, an emeritus entomology professor at Pennsylvania State University and commercial beekeeper adviser who specializes in chemical ecology."

''Over 100 scientists and researchers have urged a federal task force to take immediate action on bee-harming pesticides. In a letter (pdf) dated Monday and sent to U.S. Department of Agriculture head Tom Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy, the scientists write that documented bee declines "are not sustainable," and stress that the pollinators play a crucial role "in our agricultural system and economies." Beekeepers in the nation have been hit with average losses of nearly 30 percent for the past eight years, they write to Vilsack and McCarthy, who lead the months-old Pollinator Health Task Force. Protecting the pollinators, they write, means listening to a body of scientific evidence that links a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, or neonics, with lethal and sub-lethal harm to bees. [...]
Further, the letter states,
the White House Task Force should recommend incentives for farmers to create healthy pollinator habitats in the form of diversified, pesticide-­free landscapes as an alternative to our current system of intensive monoculture. Such landscapes support natural enemies also, and thus provide an alternative to pesticides. Maintaining high-­quality habitats around farms aids in promoting pollinator richness and diversity. Thriving populations of beneficial insects result in a healthier and more resilient crop as well as benefiting the larger ecosystem.''

Industrial agriculture is destroying our water, wrecking the soil and we are a sicker population after it's all said and done. Food is cheaper, sure, but it's also depleted, lacking life-giving energy, so one pays for it in the end, with increased medical costs. The bees are the canary in the coal mine. (Coal: that's another thing... .) Pollinators like honeybees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat... . Pollinators killed by pesticides = one third of your favorite foods *gone*. Will we just wait to see what happens? Or, will enough people see the writing on the wall and begin to pressure elected officials for needed action?