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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Will Agriculture Save the Bees?

 

U.S. farmers will soon plant up to 180 million acres of corn and soybeans coated in neonicotinoid pesticides, a combined landmass nearly twice the size of California. (1, 2)

But neonics harm the bees that make much of our fresh food production possible and offer no significant benefits in terms of crop yields. (3, 4)

Since the late 1980s, neonics have become the most widely used class of insecticides in the world.5 And experts believe pesticides like neonics are one factor in the alarming decline of bee populations in recent years – the USDA reports that U.S. beekeepers lost 44% of their colonies between 2015 and 2016. (6)

Losses of this size are unsustainable and could have disastrous effects on our food supply, our environment and our economy. In the U.S. alone, honey bees pollinate an estimated $15 billion worth of crops every year – from strawberries to broccoli to the alfalfa used to feed dairy cows.7 The bottom line: without bees, we don’t have food.

What can you do? There is already momentum to address this urgent and worldwide threat. Maryland and Connecticut have both taken important action to limit the use of neonics, and across the pond, the European Union may soon vote to completely ban neonics.8

So we’re calling on states to protect our best pollinators. Call your state representatives today! Let your voice be heard before more damage is done this year.

Links:

1. Sara Schafer, “Equal Corn And Soybean Acres Predicted In 2018,” AgWeb/Farm Journal, February 22, 2018.

2. Shari Finnell, “Corn Seed Treatment Insecticides Pose Risks to Honey Bees, Yield Benefits Elusive,” Purdue University, May 22, 2017.

3. N. Tsvetkov, O. Samson-Robert, et al., “Chronic Exposure to Neonicotinoids Reduces Honey Bee Health Near Corn Crops,” Science, June 30, 2017.

4. Lorenzo Furlan, Alberto Pozzebon, et al., “An Update of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment (WIA) on Systemic Insecticides. Part 3: Alternatives to Systemic Insecticides,” Environmental Science and Pollution Research, February 25, 2018.

5. N. Simon-Delso, V. Amaral-Rogers, et al., “Systemic Insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil): Trends, Uses, Mode of Action and Metabolites,” Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, September 19, 2014.

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