Monday, June 23, 2014

Obama creates task force to figure out how save honeybees; more than 23 percent died last winter

President Obama on Friday announced the formation of a task force to seek a solution to stop the continued loss of bee colonies, which pollinate about 90 crops worldwide. Honeybee populations lost 23.5 percent of their numbers over the winter, and have been losing populations for years, with pesticides blamed by many for the deaths.

The Pollinator Health Task Force "will have 180 days to create a strategy to prevent future bee loss," Isabelle Khurshudyan reports for The Washington Post. "Specifically, the task force will investigate how to reduce pollinator exposure to pesticides found to harm bumblebees by interfering with their homing abilities." (Post graphic)

Honeybee pollination adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year in the U.S., a White House release said. “Over the past few decades, there has been a significant loss of pollinators, including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies, from the environment. The problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment.”

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