Did you know that honeybees are responsible for pollinating 1 out of 3 bites of food that we eat? Or that spring wildflowers arrive thanks not just to bees but also bats, beetles, butterflies and hummingbirds? Let’s face it: We owe a lot to our pollinator friends — and now they need our help.
The widespread use of a dangerous class of pesticides called neonicotinoids — applied to crops and sold on pretreated plants at garden retailers — is threatening pollinators nationwide. That’s because once the chemical is applied to a seed or plant, all parts of it become toxic, including leaves and pollen.
And the agency in charge of defending our wildlife isn’t doing its job. In a new risk assessment looking at the impact of imidacloprid (a common neonicotinoid) on honeybees, the Environmental Protection Agency ignored the best available science in favor of biased studies funded by the chemical industry. The agency also ignored how these chemicals might harm thousands of other native pollinators, from bats and bumblebees to hummingbirds.
Act now to tell the EPA to do its risk assessment right. The agency must use only the best science — and ultimately that will mean banning all neonicotinoids while fragile pollinator populations still have a chance at recovery.
If you can’t open the link, go to http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17430.
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Photo of bumblebee courtesy Flickr/Smudge9000; hummingbird courtesy Flickr/Steve Severinghaus; lesser long-nosed bat by Merlin D. Tuttle courtesy Flickr/USDA; honeybees in public domain.