Is the EPA Going to “Follow Science” or Bow Down to Big Ag?
We are passionate about many things, and as you know, many of those things involve honey bees! The little honey bee, along with all the other pollinators we promote on our social channels and on our blog, are so very important to our food sources and the ecosystems that support life, that we want to share what we’ve been reading* on the subject of pollinator preservation and the use of harmful chemicals, herbicides and pesticides.
First the scary stuff.
These Losses are Not Sustainable
What do we fear? Total loss of our pollinators. Such loss is not sustainable and we won’t be able to reverse the devastation. Some facts…U.S beekeepers have reported that in the past year, they have lost over 43% of their honeybee colonies… and this is the 2nd highest percentage of loss ever recorded! Things are getting scary for the little honeybees.
Monarch butterflies are also continuing to decline in numbers and have been reduced by 26% in the last year. The loss of honeybee colonies and monarch butterflies can be directly linked to the use of toxic chemicals which reduce their food sources, pollute the ground and water supplies and also directly kill the bees and butterflies.
Toxic chemicals are not the only factor in the declining number of pollinators we’re seeing each year. Habitat loss and climate change play big roles in the lower counts of our favorite creatures. That being said, toxic chemical use is something that we can prevent or at the very least control and begin to minimize.
The Science is Clear
Two major chemicals are at the forefront of the pollinator destruction: neonic (an insecticide) and glyphosate (a weed killer), and they are both “virtually unchecked”. As the purchase and use of these chemicals rises, the pollinator population declines. The facts show how closely tied together the two events are. Glyphosate, sadly, is almost solely responsible for wiping out the habitat for Monarchs, by eliminating the milkweed plant which is crucial for the Monarchs’ survival.
Have you heard of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Pollinator Initiative? This is a major campaign designed to defend bees, butterflies and other pollinators from harsh chemicals released from many large companies and approved for use without restriction. Right now they are fighting a court battle against the EPA’s reauthorization of the weedkiller “glyphosate”, stating that the EPA has completely ignored warnings from medical experts and scientists about the serious risks to our environment and health.
Hundreds of thousands of NRDC members and activists are contacting the EPA now in protest of these dangerous chemicals and calling on restrictions. It’s timely because the EPA is scheduled to perform a hazard review, which includes these chemicals, that should be completed by the end of 2022. However, once they reach their conclusions, they will not need to have another review until 2037! 15 years later! If the ruling does not reverse the use of these chemicals, more of our pollinators will be lost, or soon enough, completely wiped out.
“We have a limited window, and in that time we have to make sure we’re weighing in at every stage of the process and making the strongest possible evidence-based case against these bee-toxic pesticides,” says Dan Raichel, Pollinator Initiative acting Director. “The science is on our side, but we’re up against a powerful industry that has billions a year in profits…” Their tireless work is invaluable and we hope they get the results they are looking for in court. The fate of our pollinators depends on it
Food Sources Will Also Decline
“A study published by Rutgers University in July 2020 found that foods such as apples, cherries, and blueberries are already ‘pollinator limited,’ meaning a lack of pollinators is leading to lower crop yields.
One in every three bites of food we take as humans relies on bees and other pollinators. Think about that at your next meal. What will be missing from your plate as we destroy the pollinators and our own health at risk by allowing these toxic chemicals to be used freely and without restriction.
But there is HOPE! Take Action by Contacting the EPA!
We must join the fight and act now so we can affect change and insist that the EPA follows the science to restrict the use of these pollinator-destroying chemicals.
TAKE ACTION NOW BY VISITING: nrdc.org/savebees to fill out the form petition. Your message will be sent to: Michael Regan, EPA Administrator with the subject line:
Save our pollinators – and our food supply – from toxic pesticides! Add your personal info and you will have joined the fight against big corporations and the manufacturing and use of these toxic chemicals.
“For far too long the EPA has refused to stand up to the agrochemical industry,” says Raichel. “We’re counting on NRDC members (and YOU) to join us in demanding the EPA stop putting Big Ag’s profits ahead of pollinator survival and people’s health.”
The Biden-Harris administration has promised to restore science as central to protecting the environment and public health. We hope they deliver.
*Our source is the NRDC “Natures’ Voice” Summer 2021 Publication.
Please share your pollinator garden pics with us by mentioning us in your Instagram posts, or by sending us a message directly on Instagram or on Facebook. We’d love to see your photos and will choose our favorite to share on our social channels this month!
Thanks for supporting the bees and for supporting Little Bee of Connecticut.
Visit https://littlebeeofct.com/ to learn more about our company and our products.