White House Sets up Task Force to Tackle Decline of Honey Bees
Owing to a number of factors, including weather, diseases and pesticides, honey bee population in the US is on the decline since last winter. Now, the White House has developed a task force that will deal with dwindling honey bee population.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the agriculture department will lead the task force. The task force will raise $8 million for new honey bee habitats. It is vital to take measures to improve the condition as already
their population has decreased by 23% and the population will decline even the more in next few months.
One of the main concerns is colony collapse disorder (CCD). It is a phenomenon in which worker bees suddenly disappear and abandon their homes and all the plants they pollinate. The process takes place quite rapidly and researchers are not sure about the reason, but they suspect pesticides.
"The administration should prevent the release and use of these toxic pesticides until determined safe", said Friends of the Earth president Erich Pica. Other pollinators like monarch butterflies are also disappearing.
Around 25% of Americans depend on fruits and vegetables pollinated by bees. These include apples, peaches, carrots and avocados among others. Honey is used to enhance a number of other products including cookies, snacks, tea and bread.
If honey bee population continues to dwindle, these food sources would disappear, which could be problematic for the US markets. The new task force will find a way to prevent the declining population of honey bees.
Over the next six months, the government-wide task force will come up with strategies to deal with these issues. The raised funding will be given to farmers and ranchers in five states -- Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Using this money, they will come up with new honey bee habitats.
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