White House Releases Strategy to Protect Bees and Other Pollinators

The White House will also request additional resources from Congress to protect pollinators

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

President Obama has encouraged the involvement of all citizens in communities in the goal of restoring pollinator populations. 

This week, in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the White House announced its strategy to “promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators,” which have experienced considerable decline in the last several years — not least of all because of the widespread use of harmful pesticides that can also have a narcotic effect on the insects.

Last year, the United States lost 40 percent of its honeybee colonies, which are extremely important to agriculture. As Whole Foods has highlighted in its Share the Buzz campaign, pollinators are critical to more than 100 common crops, including tomatoes, avocados, and peppers, and even play an important role in the production of beef and dairy.

The White House has defined three overarching goals for the inter-agency pollinator protection task force: reducing honey bee colony losses to sustainable levels, increasing the population of monarch butterflies to preserve the annual migration, and restoring or enhancing millions of acres of land for pollinators, through public and private action. 

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