Last June, the president created a bee-saving task force. Today, the team — headed up by the EPA and the Department of Agriculture — released their 10-year plan for pollinator rejuvenation. Here’s what the plan aims to do: Bump monarch butterfly numbers to 225 million and reduce winter honey bee colony losses by about half; make 7 million acres of land more pollinator-friendly; research how to minimize bees’ exposure to pesticides; and re-evaluate the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides.
In total, the strategy will require $82 million of the 2016 budget. Don’t worry, Republicans, it’ll be worth it: Aiding pollinators helps the economy, food security, and environmental health. Here’s more from the White House:
Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year, and helps ensure that our diets include ample fruits, nuts, and vegetables. This tremendously valuable service is provided to society by honey bees, native bees and other insect pollinators, birds, and bats.
The president is also calling for an all-hands-on-deck effort — so get ready people, we’re saving the bees! Together! From the White House:
People of all ages and communities across the country can play a role in responding to the President’s call to action. YOU can share some land with pollinators—bees, butterflies, other insects, birds, bats—by planting a pollinator garden or setting aside some natural habitat. YOU can think carefully before applying any pesticides and always follow the label instructions. YOU can find out more about the pollinator species that live near you.
The Obama administration is going all-out Uncle Sam on us for the bees’ sakes. But this is one government call-to-arms I can get behind.