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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tell the EPA to cancel its approval of the pesticide that's wiping out honey bees.

Since 2006, U.S. honey bee populations have been in precipitous decline, with some estimates suggesting losses as high as 30% per year.1 While that's terrible, the problem is far greater than just the destruction of a species. Without bees, a big piece of our food supply is in serious danger. Pollination by honey bees is key in cultivating the crops that produce a full one-third of our food.
Scientists have been scrambling to understand the crisis — termed Colony Collapse Disorder — but have yet to find a single, definitive cause. There are likely multiple interacting causes, and mounting evidence suggests that one widely used class of pesticides may be a critical factor.
One such chemical, called clothianidin, is produced by the German corporation Bayer CropScience. It is used as a treatment on crop seeds, including corn and canola, and works by expressing itself in the plants' pollen and nectar. Not coincidentally, these are some of honey bees' favorite sources of food.
Clothianidin was approved by the EPA in 2010 — but now the EPA is deciding whether to renew this approval. The deadline to submit a comment is Tuesday.

Why, one may ask, because we need them. They are a vital link in our food supply, without them, There Will be less food to eat. Even though this is a global problem, it has come to my attention that unfortunately the petition sight is strictly American. I am sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. Thank you for your consideration.
 Species of Apis(the honey bee) are generalist floral visitors, and will pollinate a large variety of plants, but by no means all plants. Of all the honey bee species, only Apis mellifera has been used extensively for commercial pollination of crops and other plants. The value of these pollination services is commonly measured in the billions of dollars.
Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have.
Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.
 In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if the collapse worsens, we could end up being "stuck with grains and water," said Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program.
"This is the biggest general threat to our food supply," Hackett said.
In this way, by having signed the petition and passing on the petition, are two of the steps I am taking in support of the Honey Bee, who supports us, humans. There is one more step that I will be beginning very soon, since Spring is almost here and that is to plant 'Bee-Friendly Flowers' on my deck. This is something that I hope each and everyone who reads this blog will consider and also consider passing on. After all, if there are enough 'Bee-Friendly Gardens' here in the State of Ohio and around the U.S.A. and around the world--We can save our own Food Supply.

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Our research has shown that bees are more strongly attracted to gardens with a greater diversity of bee-friendly flowers. In addition, simple things like ...