from Wildlife Promise
A bumblebee visits a coneflower in a Dayton, Ohio, backyard. Photo by Josh Mayes.
Honeybees have been in the news a lot this month. On May 2, the federal government published results of a comprehensive study looking at potential causes of the insects’ dramatic decline in a phenomenon known as colony-collapse disorder. The widely publicized report blamed a combination of problems, including parasites, pesticides, bad nutrition and low genetic diversity within hives.
The following week, some U.S. activists made headlines by demanding the government ban a class of insecticides, neonicotinoids, after learning the European Union placed a moratorium their use due to concerns the chemicals are harming honeybees. (Imported to North America during the 1600s, honeybees are native to Europe.) Such concerns are understandable. Beyond their honey-making prowess, domestic honeybees are worth tens of billions of dollars to U.S farmers and beekeepers, who truck colonies back and forth across the country to pollinate commercial crops such as almonds, soybeans and watermelon. Continue reading “In the Buzz About Bees, Don’t Forget the Natives”