December 16, 2014 Community news from the prairie to the lakes  
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  Take action now to save our honeybees
  by KRISTIN BROWN, League of Conservation Voters
 

Could you imagine a fall without fresh apples? Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie? Chips without guacamole? It’s hard to picture, but this could be our not-so-distant future if we don’t take action now to save our number one food security guard -- the honeybee.

In recent years, nearly one third of commercial bee colonies in the U.S. have been dying over the winter. In Oregon last year we saw the biggest mass killing ever, as 50,000 bumblebees dropped dead after coming in contact with a pesticide used purely for aesthetic purposes. The situation is so bad that people have started to dub it the “Bee-pocalypse.”

Why is this a big deal? Because one third of the food produced in North America, including nearly 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables like apples, pumpkins, cranberries, and avocados, rely on honeybees for pollination.

If we want to save the bees, we need Congress to act now to ban the pesticides that are killing them off. Speak out now!

Losing our bees wouldn’t just leave us without delicious guacamole and apple pie, it would be a crushing blow to our economy. We could lose more than $15 billion a year in agricultural production in the U.S.

The good news is that Congress has finally started to take notice. Just last week, a bill (H.R. 2692) to save honeybees by temporarily banning certain pesticides reached 71 co-sponsors.

This is the closest we’ve ever gotten to actual legislation to protect our bees, so we need your help to spread the word and keep the momentum going. If enough of us speak out, we can get more members of Congress to support this bill and make saving our bees a reality.

Tell your member of Congress to support H.R. 2692 and save our honeybees!

The mass death of our honeybees is not a natural phenomenon. Europe is seeing huge population declines as well. The difference is that the European Union is working to reverse this trend with a two-year ban in place on neonicotinoids, the pesticides linked to mass bee deaths. We need your help to get the United States to follow suit.

This bill would temporarily halt certain pesticides while safer pesticides are being developed. And get this -- we may already have the key to a safer pesticide. Researchers in England have been investigating the venom of one of the world’s most deadly spiders, the Australian funnel web spider. The spider’s venom creates a bio-pesticide that is still fatal to common farm pests, but appears to have absolutely no effect on bees.

We have a very real shot at saving the bees, but only if we stop the use of dangerous pesticides and develop new, safer alternatives. But we have to act now to convince Congress to do something about it. There are 65 members supporting the bill so far -- will you help us get even more on our side?

Tell Congress to save our honeybees and halt the use of deadly pesticides.

There’s no simple solution to the bee crisis, but we do know about some steps we can take now to move us in the right direction and the first one is passing this bill. The success of our crops and security of our nation’s food supply hinges on whether or not we can protect our bees. So thank you for telling Congress to take action today.
   
 
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Website last updated:
December 16, 2014