“The sun is now rising on a day where pollinators are no longer plentiful,” – Rick Smith, Beekeeper and Farmer.
Whether you are apiphobic (afraid of bees) or not, the quote above should be very concerning to you. The contribution of honeybees to our food crops is enormous. Approximately 90% of the entire world’s food source can be directly attributed to the hard work of the little bees. However, the U.S. National Agricultural Statistics show the honey bee population has gone from around 6 million hives in 1947 to 2.4 million hives in 2008. That’s a 60% decline!
Why isn’t this fact well-known? Simple answer: chemical industry intervention. While it’s true that there are a lot of different factors that are contributing to the downfall of bees, it’s inherently known that humans are a direct cause of the two largest reasons for their demise: pesticides and habitat destruction. And the chemical industry has paid serious dollars (to the tune of $11 million) to keep that fact quiet.
Unfortunately for them, SuitUp Nation is not a quiet group! There are many ways you can make noise and bring awareness to the bee crisis.
BAN DANGEROUS PESTICIDES
What pesticides are dangerous to the bee population? Toxic pesticides that kill bees are called neonicotinoids. These types of pesticides infect the entire plant, which can cause infertility, weakness, or even death in bees.
And here’s how to help get rid of them:
- Tell President Obama to ban the use of neonicotinoids!
- Pesticide Action Network has a lot of ideas on how to get involved here.
- Also consider signing up for PAN’s alerts & news to receive ongoing CTAs
HOST A BEEHIVE!
What do you need to start a beehive in your backyard?
- Take a look at your city codes to ensure you are in compliance with placing a beehive on your land.
2. Read! Make sure you are well-versed in beekeeping before starting this venture. It’s a lot of work! To get started, here are some resources:
- The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum
- The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses by Richard Jones
- The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diana Sammataro
- Beekeeping for Beginners
- Beginning Beekeeping
3. Purchase the necessary supplies to set up your beehive, as well as the bees themselves! Try to purchase from local farmers and farmer supply stores or organizations that support this cause.
SUPPORT THE POLLINATOR RECOVERY ACT
Send an email to your Senator via Greenpeace.
RESIST TRUMP’S CLIMATE DENIERS!
Obviously, we can’t make progress on any environmental issue if Scott Pruitt is named EPA Administrator. The man describes himself as “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,” for crying out loud. Send a letter to your Senator here.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE CURRENT EPA ADMINISTRATOR
While we still have an ally in office, consider sending an email to current EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to urge her to act on this quickly!
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