What are the sounds of summer you’ve been tuned into this season? Crickets, lawn mowers, the sizzle of grills, birds, and what about bees? Have you heard many buzzing?
Due to yet another ignorant, self-serving move by the current White House administration, we’re set to hear less and less of that buzzing. Earlier this month the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Alexandra Dunn announced she was “thrilled” to approve the insecticide, sulfoxaflor, for new, more widespread use, thereby lifting past restrictions supported by scientists and environmental organizations.
The EPA’s own Environmental Hazards Statement declares the insecticide “highly toxic to bees and other pollinating insects.” They say they can mitigate the hazard by application guidelines, which I doubt will be enforced and are arbitrary as far as the bees are concerned.
As a prelude to this EPA decision, the agency stopped their tracking of vanishing honeybee colonies - protecting themselves from the impact of their actions.
According to the Department of Agriculture’s Research, Education, and Economics website: “Pollinators, most often honey bees, are responsible for one in every three bites of food we take, and increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than $15 billion.”
Factors other than insecticides contribute to the diminishing bee population - loss of habitat, climate change, decreasing crop diversity, and the Varroa mite infestation. Bees and beekeepers have enough working against them without this shortsighted decision.
I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my perspective.